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Sam Drake

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University: Glasgow School of Art
Graduation Year: 2016

Artist Statement

My practice investigates the interface between drawing and painting, exploring the tipping point between abstraction and figuration. My work comments on particular histories in an effort to engage with universal factors such as social control and migration, through subject matter and the internal methodology employed. Each painting has a particular narrative often referencing history, literature and painting theory. Each piece aims to create a layered and ambiguous plot. I want my works to be reminiscent of dusk or moonlight, an overall sombre tone where figures loom amongst fragmentation. By rendering tight controlled areas of paint against large swabs of abstraction I want the language of paint to suggest a rip or tear which is then fused into a coherent whole. Commenting on the constant inflow of daily imagery and how we compile it. Predominantly working in oil paint, the manipulation of the ground is essential in my practice. I toy with the surface by dripping varnish into undulations of paint, incorporate mono-printing in the under painting and exploit various tools such as plastic bags and cling- film. I draw upon both found and personal imagery. Collages are made before paintings which involve a layered process including various textures and overlapping imagery. I try to free the figure from connotations of identity, using them as a vessel for obscurity and the universal. Overall, I want my paintings to push and pull, through this on-going scuffle of impulsion I want to harness solidity and a sense of structure. I want the process of the works to contain a particular history, an internal dialogue fringed by the ulterior subjects.

Original works:

Migrant (Horse & Rider)

By Sam Drake


The Zuyder Zee is a Dead Sea

By Sam Drake



By Sam Drake


Sold Artworks:

Fisherman's Friend

By Sam Drake