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Featured Artist 2016: Sam Carney

Featured Artist 2016: Sam Carney

Published: 31 May 2016

Only a few months ago promising young Illustrator Sam Carney was looking for a space in the island to work from.... Fast forward to next month and he will be welcoming you in to check out his creative workspace at the communal studios at La Folie, where he now is based alongside fellow Skipton Open Studios artists Fenby Miskin, Little River Pictures, Pippa Barrow and Matt Daly. Sam let Holly photograph him preparing work for you to see when you visit La Folie, and spoke to the team to tell us all about his work and his creative background....

"What mediums do you work with?

I mostly work with pencil, pen & ink and watercolour but I’ve recently been doing a bit of monoprinting as well

How would you describe yourself as an Artist?

I love to explore mark making and working up layers in the attempt to find the textures and tones to describe what I’m looking at. At the moment I’m enjoying playing with the levels of control that I take over the marks I am making, especially in the early stages of a new piece. I like to watch an atmosphere develop in a piece as I work on it and often let that inform the overall direction of the image whilst it is being made. I don’t consciously place personal meaning or symbolism into my work as I find that the journey to the point where the piece is finished and experiencing the challenges and decisions during that process is the part that I play as an artist.   

Have you taken part in Skipton Open Studios before?

No, this is my first open studios. In fact this is the first time I’ve had a permanent studio space since leaving college, so for me this years event represents an important and exciting time in my career so far.  

How did you first get into Art?

I think I became focussed on art at secondary school, I had always drawn as a child but it was nothing out of the ordinary. I found that in other subjects I would study hard simply because I didn’t like to get bad grades but with my art education I felt much more like it was something I was doing for myself. I just wanted to improve my understanding all the time, to be able to transfer what I was seeing to the page naturally, without technical inability to limit me and always wanting to have more to give to my work. It’s a feeling that still compels me to make work today.  

Who is your creative inspiration?

It’s important to draw ideas and inspiration from a range of places and creatively I take inspiration from musicians, writers and philosophers as well as artists so it’s hard to choose one in particular. If I was to choose the artist whose work and process I most admire though, it would have to be the american realist painter Andrew Wyeth. He had a very unique and specific working process that he persevered with and refined over a long career. The observation in his work and his distinctly austere palette are brutally honest, but he combines them with a superb intimacy that means the viewer can experience the subjects in his work on so many levels. They’re qualities I can only strive for in my own work.  

Why should we visit your Studio?

Working at the La Folie Studios means that there will be so much great work of a variety of disciplines from all of the resident artists. Everyone has been working on really exciting projects which I for one am very excited to see on show. There should be a really good buzz for visitors to enjoy and there are already some cool ideas in the works. The studio is just a short walk from town along Jersey’s historic town harbourside and ….. there will be cake! What more do you need!

What have you been doing so far in preparation for this year’s Open Studios?

Although I haven’t made any work specifically for the open studios I’m currently going through quite a prolific period. I’m really having fun with composition and materials so there will be lots to see that won’t have been seen before. My studio and the Open studios event is all new to me and I’m trying to use that as fuel to create some exciting new work.   

What can we expect from you from this year’s Open Studios?

I will be showing finished pieces in the studio gallery space but since my studio is very important to me as a place to experiment and grow my work there will be lots of work at various stages of completion that will hopefully give visitors an insight into my working practice.   

Describe Jersey’s creative scene in 5 words…

Changing, expanding, deepening, supportive, varied."

Sam is a lovely and talented Artist, and we can't wait to see what he produces this year artistically (and try the cake that will be on offer!) now that he is based at the La Folie collective. Check out Sam's artist profile for directions to La Folie, links to his website and contact details.

Photos courtesy of Holly Smith Commercial Photography.

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