My practice has always used personal experiences as a vehicle to produce work, as this has been a potent method of self-healing and self-understanding. My work is then exhibited for the audience to react and respond to on their own level of understanding. Branching out beyond this, I have started to explore the notion of social healing through performance. Recently, I have been researching materiality and exploring the subject matter of making my internal state a visual entity. By juxtaposing this with my external aesthetic, I also intend to highlight cultural, political and social issues within society today, particularly those concerning the stigma of mental health. By using this as a foundation, I then introduce a range of materials, techniques and influences, whereby reflecting on these outcomes I can learn from my successes and failures which ultimately develops and strengthens my practice.
Although my work stems from the personal, it also thrives collaboratively with other artists, and in response to new environments. Through doing this, my practice even takes on new themes which can take the work in different directions, enabling a process of self-discovery for me as well as my practice. As I am so passionate about my practice, I am open-minded about the future and am excited to embrace every possible opportunity which will enable my practice to thrive.
Q&A ~ Sam Dobson
Describe yourself using three words?
Motivated, productive, quirky.
What inspired you to write your first piece of artwork?
Through school, it was more of a necessity that art had to be done in lessons. I say this, as of course, it wasn’t a chore for me to do, but at secondary school especially, art was very directional and had less emphasis on developing the art that you want to make, and more emphasis was on what had to be made to fit the marking criteria. Despite this, at GCSE level, I started to find a balance between what I want to make and what the school wanted me to make, and there my passion for art was born.
What time of day do you like to work?
I work in bursts. If I am really excited about trying out a new idea, for example, I will work all hours of the day until exhausted. If my ideas are harder to develop, I tend to take time out to let the ideas evolve naturally.
Is your artwork based on real experiences?
Yes. The initial spark and drive for my art making is personal experiences. However, once I have that spark, the work is then driven by research, artist influences and other contextual links such as the environment, interactions I might have with people, or even music, TV and films.
What’s your favourite word? Aesthetic
If you were a colour what would it be? See my body map work..
Do you plan your art beforehand or go with the flow?
I have found that the more I plan what work I am going to do, the worse the outcome. Planning the work too much makes it looks really contrived and forced like I am trying too hard (which I probably would have been!). If I have an exhibition, I now tend to go into the space, with no pre-existing idea of what I want to show or how I want to show it. I will walk around the space and get a feel for it, and then decide what to show. I have even just sat down in the space and made the work there and then. Despite this seeming too intuitive and spontaneous, I feel I need to trust my own instincts and try out new ideas. This has so far paid off, as of course the work is still set around many precise rules set as a framework to make.
Who is your favourite Artist?
I could never say just one, as many artists have been very influential to my practice as well as moved me emotionally in the gallery space. I find Maria Lassnig’s practice to be incredibly interesting, as, despite prejudices and working in a man’s world (at the time), her art is filled with emotional, contextual references, and the power to leave me stunned in front of her work. Sculpturally, Rebecca Warren’s work is also beautiful and full of references to gender and the politics around it. Cathy Wilkes is also an artist’s work I admire, as her work to has many personal references, though she forces the audience to relate and make connections to the work themselves, rather than include pages of narcissistic writing.
If you could give any literary villain a happy ending who would you chose?
I suppose for many literary villains, their happiness is causing pain and suffering, and for them, that is their happy ending (until they undoubtedly meet their maker!). The definition of a happy ending is very much debatable from person to person, as no personal happy ending is quite the same.
Are you working on a new project?
At the moment I am pushing my current work forward as my degree show is only around the corner, but I am very excited to embrace any opportunity that comes my way.
Do you have any upcoming events our members can attend?
My degree show is at the John Lennon Art and Design building in Liverpool on 25th May 2017, and I will have a couple of shows before that at least, though dates are not confirmed at the moment.
Sam Dobson has kindly donated a prize for Love Books Group to giveaway, that’s incredibly generous and we are very grateful. Thanks so much Sam x
Who gets to say what counts as contemporary art? Artists, critics, curators, gallerists, auctioneers, collectors, or the public? Revealing how all of these groups have shaped today’s multifaceted definition, Terry Smith brilliantly shows that a historical approach offers the best answer to the question: What Is Contemporary Art? Smith argues that the most recognisable kind is characterised by a return to mainstream modernism in the work of such artists as Richard Serra and Gerhard Richter, as well as the retro-sensationalism of figures like Damien Hirst and Takashi Murakami. At the same time, Smith reveals, post-colonial artists are engaged in a different kind of practice: one that builds on local concerns and tackles questions of identity, history, and globalisation. A younger generation embodies yet a third approach to contemporaneity by investigating time, place, mediation, and ethics through small-scale, closely connective art making. Inviting readers into these diverse yet overlapping art worlds, Smith offers a behind-the-scenes introduction to the institutions, the personalities, the biennials, and of course the works that together are defining the contemporary. The resulting map of where art is now illuminated not only where it has been but also where it is going.
Good Luck ~ Enter Here
Contact Sam Dobson
Twitter – https://twitter.com/Sammiihayley
Sam Dobson Facebook Page – https://www.facebook.com/Artwork-by-Sam-Dobson-281365078679217/
Sam Dobson ~ Website – http://s-dobson.wixsite.com/artworkbysamdobson
Sam Dobson Blog ~ https://artandsamdobson.wordpress.com
Thanks Sam, for being part of Love Books Group Blog. Such an interesting article to review. Best of luck with all your endervours, come back soon.