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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.


Upcoming Exhibitions

2017- RSA New Contemporaries, The Mound - Royal Scottish Academy Galleries, Edinburgh 18 February - 15 March 2017
2016, Best of Degree Show
2016, Six foot Gallery, Pentagon Centre, 36 Washington Street, Glasgow July 1 - August 11, 2016

Group Exhibitions

2016, Glasgow School of Art Degree Show
2016, Painters Gonna Paint, The Tontine Building, Glasgow,
2016, Lynn Painter-Stainers Prize, Mall Galleries
2016, Royal Society of British Artists, Mall Galleries, London.
2016, Royal Society of British Artists, Rising Stars, Lloyds Register Gallery, London.
2016, W. Gordon Smith Award, Dovecot Gallery, Edinburgh
2015, Harrogate International Arts Expo, National Art Open Finalists
2015, Construction and Destruction – Remembering Clyde Shipbuilders 1914-1918, Scottish Maritime Museum in partnership with The Glasgow School of Art and the Royal Scottish Academy of Art & Architecture.
2015, Maritime Museum, Irvine
2015, Safe and Healthy, McClellan Galleries, Glasgow

Awards & Shortlists

2017, RSA New Contemporaries Selected Artist
2016, The Royal Glasgow Institute of the Fine Arts Exhibition Award Winner
2016, Richard Ford Award 
2016, Lynn Painter-Stainers Prize, Mall Galleries 
2014, Richard Ford Award, Travel Scholarship to Museo Del Prado, Madrid 

Original works:

The Zuyder Zee is a Dead Sea

By Sam Drake



By Sam Drake


Migrant (Horse & Rider)

By Sam Drake


Sold Artworks:

Fisherman's Friend

By Sam Drake