Monthly Featured Artist
Each month we want to share the work of an artist that inspires and encourages creative people at all levels to share stories about their work, journey, and life. We want to bring our audience closer to the process of making, thinking, and what it means to be an artist today. Read on for our latest artist interview with Josephine Sams who was selected by our volunteer curator, Parker Duma, from our recent To Portray or To Portrait online exhibition.
Interview Q & A
I am an Artist and an Art teacher originally from Suffolk and I currently live in Northamptonshire on my narrowboat. I studied Fine art at the University of Lincoln and later became an Art teacher after traveling and working in a few different jobs. I have always wanted to explore many different types of media and I have never been able to stick to just one. At University, my work ranged from printing, installation, photography, light projection, drawing, painting and textiles. I wanted to learn it all! I love experimenting and combining techniques and using them to teach Photography, Art and Textiles to my students. During this process, these new disciplines have started to cross over into my own work.
Tell us about your most recent work or project.
My most recent piece of hoop art depicts my time spent in India. I used turmeric and paprika to dye fabric used to create a bright background and reflect the vibrant use of colour I saw on my travels which I then layered with the newspaper I brought back with me. Working from my own photography I chose to show three memories from this trip. Buildings from a small town called Manali, trekking through the Himalayas and prayer flags seen at a temple high up in the mountains.
Which artists inspire you and why?
I have been inspired by so many different artists. I love Rachel Whiteread for showing a different viewpoint to her subject, Mark Rothko for his use of colour, David Bachelor for using colour and found objects, Frida Kahlo for her honesty and Valerie Hegarty for her work showing decay breaking out of the frame. I love finding new artists and learning what inspires them or why they create work on a subject. Being a teacher I try and expose my students to as many different artists as possible so they learn how broad art can be.
Tell us about the work or project that means the most to you.
As they are all created from my own experiences and memories they are all personal and important to me. The work that means the most to me are the hoops that focus on countries or particular cities, they can take me straight back to that place or time that I was there. My India hoop was very significant, as the memories are some of the most important to me. I went with a group of students when I was 16 to India for a month, rebuilding a school, trekking the Himalayas and even seeing a Snow Leopard in the wild. I really love working with found objects and collect maps and postcards Some of the postcards I sew on were sent over a hundred years ago! I love reading the messages that were sent and hearing what they had been up to, it feels like I’m working with other people’s memories rather than my own.
What challenges do you face making your work?
As I live on a narrowboat I have limited space. I would love to work on a larger scale and see how my work would develop in a larger space.
What advice would you give to aspiring artists?
Experiment with all different types of media and techniques. Give everything a try because you never know what ideas might come from experimenting. Cross over disciplines and don’t be afraid to make mistakes. Also, use social media to find inspiring artists from all over the world.
What’s next for you as an artist?
I can’t wait to get back into a gallery and explore! It’s one of my favourite things to do, I feel so inspired after being around art. Unfortunately, the lockdown cancelled some exhibitions I was involved in or meant I couldn’t see them. Hopefully, there will be a few things coming up now which will be exciting. I have a few pieces I am working on at the moment and would love to collaborate with some more artists as well.
Find out more…
We would like to say a huge thank you to Josephine Sams for being our July Monthly Featured Artist and you can find out much more about their work from the links below. Josephine is also taking part in the online exhibition Revolt.Revive.Rekindle hosted by the NN Gallery see it through the link below.
Thank you so much for reading our Monthly Featured Artist June edition. You can help us spread the word about Josephine’s work and our Monthly Featured Artist project by sharing this page on social media and using the hashtag:
I am an Artist who works with photography, paint and stitch. The pieces I create are centred on my own experiences and memories. My work is of the countries and cities I have visited and all start from the photographs I have taken whilst there. I love exploring and seeing different ways of life and I use my art to capture a moment I’ve spent in that place. Each one is personal and stirs memories. Working from my own photography, I either paint or use the cyanotype process to capture a moment and a place. I use stitch and threads to expand the work outside of the normal constraints of the frame and bring movement to the subject.