“Matilda’s Letter” was an easy selection for the best individual work in the show…. aside from Tom Clifford’s excellent knowledge of his medium, this painting confronts us with a story that draws the viewer in. At first, there is an impression of the luminosity, feeling, apprehension. The subtle layers of color glazing create a landscape outside the window that, despite depicting a barren season, still vibrates with life. On closer scrutiny the interior that first registers as simply dark and spartan comes to life as well through the elegant patterning on the wall and curtains… subtle and masterful! We feel the incoming light along with Matilda, and though we are not party to what the letter contains, we see the way her face picks up the light from beyond the window and responds in kind. The rich interior, we begin to feel, reflects her own, and this bright winter day the contents of her letter. There is a feeling of extraordinary possibility here."
K. Runde, Juror
Strafford Arts festival