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Sam Baker

Sam Baker

Tell me a little bit about you!

London based. 2nd year MA Sculpture student at the Royal College of Art. Previously studied at Kingston University for my BA Fine Art. Also works part time as an art technician in a 3.D Workshop.

When did you first discover art, or realize you wanted to make it yourself?

When I first studied life drawing at 16, I use to go to an artists house in Northampton to draw. I was completely seduced by the activity, behaviour and conversation that occurred in the front room of that house. A boundless sense of freedom and autonomy was instilled in me from that point on.

What ideas are you exploring in your practice?

In my current work I am twisting, bending and pinching linear forms to create a new physical act of communication. The works stand as sites of a past performance where I have laboriously cut into materials creating conversation about production, finesse and technical virtuosity. The introduction of steam is an activator that playfully turns a process into a material within itself, by rupturing the binary relationships of wood and steel.

There is an out of control nature to steam and the way that it will not behave as a physical, matter based material. As vapour, steam is pervasive and intangible. I am interested in mocking and provoking the physical through the use of steam as a force to create and destroy.

What is your process like?

I tend to work quickly but put in long hours in the days that I am making work. When I am engaged with a project I can become obsessed with it. A lot of my works feed into a familiar narrative inspired by JG Ballard's story's of post-apocalyptic descent into chaos.

Do you have a mentor, or a piece of advice (or both), which has influenced your practice?

'Keep making, keep questioning.'
'There are no answers in art, only better questions.'
I think these two pieces of advice help me not to dwell on things for too long. Often works do fail and you can fall into a period of stagnation. These questions can then act as catalysts for new creative outputs.

Describe your studio.

I see my studio as a sight of production. 
I always try to avoid bringing my laptop to the studio to prevent being bogged down by administrative tasks. Instead, I set up my studio as a workshop complete with a workbench, clamps and well stocked tool wall.

What do you find most challenging, challenging, or frustrating about pursuing art?

The periods of rejection can be quite lonely. After applying for numerous exhibitions, residencies and completing forms for project funding, when you hear nothing back it can feel really isolating.

If you could sit down for dinner or a drink with anyone, who would it be and what would you chat about?

Probably would have to be my girlfriend, I think I owe her some more of my time.

What are three words you would use to describe your work?

Material, force, labour.

What do you do when you find yourself in a creative rut?

Pick up materials and start making again.

What do you love most about your medium? What challenges or surprises you most about it?

Sculpture is in a constant battle with gravity. There is always this inconvenient force that we have to contend with.

What do you need or value most as an artist?

Having a network of other artists, thinkers and makers that you are in regular contact with. By being receptive to critical evaluation allows your work to become more conceptually refined.

What keeps you creating?

New questions.

What are you working on right now?

A welded steel, kerf cut joint.

Find more at sambakerartist.co.uk and on Instagram @sssambbbaker!

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