Sam Blackwood

Sam Blackwood

Really into Sam Blackwood's use of eclectic materials in a practice that combines elements of painting, sculpture, and installation, and touching on themes of class and culture with an emphasis on the working class and subcultures of Northern England. Find more at the links below!

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Tell me a little bit about you!

I am a 25 year old artist currently living and working in Sheffield, England. 

I recently completed a BA Honors degree in Contemporary art studies at Sheffield Hallam University. 

I am now working in my studio at S1 Artspace in Sheffield.

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

My parents introduced me to as much art as they could, which wasn't a great deal being from the North East of England, so it always seemed like a real treat to visit a gallery or museum. 

This is one of the main reasons I am making work today, thinking about areas in which culture isn't as accessible, as it may be in a city, and how this has impacted my approach to making work.

What is your process like?

My work is very research led, using photography and found imagery as a starting point I try and translate certain things from these images into sculptural or painterly works. 

I am usually working on a bunch of things at one time as all different aspects of my practise (sculpture, painting, collage and photography) all feed into one another and help me make aesthetic descicions. 

My work is often very spontaneous but I will have something sat in my studio a long time before I am happy to document it or exhibit it. 

I am dealing with ideas of working class culture and subcultures in Northern England with my work.

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

My tutor at college always encouraged me to draw more and I eventually took this advice and am so grateful because its been a really informative and useful aspect of my practice.

Describe your studio.

My studio is like organized chaos, I have a bunch of stuff on the floor like printed images, objects that relate to what im thinking about at the moment also a few recent completed works hung around that I think some aspects might have been successful and I want to continue.

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

I find lack of criticism very hard, after graduating and not having frequent crit groups, I am always trying to be as critical as possible but find it hard to truly distance myself from my work. 

Also I find it frustrating the amount of people that don't take art as seriously as it should be taken.

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

Read a lot of fiction, take a lot of photographs, try and visit as many shows as possible and really question what it is I like about specific art works.

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

With recently starting to make paintings I am really enjoying the element of chance with making marks.

What do you need or value most as an artist?

Too have peers that I can talk to seriously about my practise and discuss ideas or themes with people that are genueinely interested.

What keeps you creating?

I find that creating art work is like any other creative medium, I am just trying to get my point across and find this is the most effective way for me to do so.

What are you working on right now?

Right now I am working on a series of paintings for a solo next month.

Find more at sblckwd.co.uk and on Instagram @sj.blackwood!

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Matt Reiner

Matt Reiner