Sam Lock: In Situ

12 May - 9 June 2018

Time – space – existence

For me Painting is a daily practice, necessary for my mind to spark and within which I am tangled up. It is my heartbeat and preoccupation and as a consequence a continuous cycle of making that feeds back into itself, the by-product of how my time is spent, the energy of the studio space and my creative existence.


Each work is the result of a sequence of intuitive actions, an immediacy that captures the physicality of the moment, a mark put down, a footprint left, the tracks and avenues of my thoughts and their circuits; their energy.
The painting is the afterwards of the minds movement, the residue of action, a fluid space of freefalling notions and occurrences and consequence (sanded, stained, scorched, sealed, torn). Heavily and physically worked layers of immediacy where ideas are acted upon and allowed to interact with eachothers time and place. The space in these paintings goes inwards, into and through their own strata, physical rather than as illusion across the space.


I want my paintings to spread out into the senses, to create an energy that involves and intrigues people, hooks into their imaginations and helps their minds wander. I use the texture and layers of my surfaces to do this, they make a history of secrets and reveals, with colour and marks. They are as visual as I can make them – each time you look I want there to be something more than before. They are not paintings that reveal themselves in a glimpse; knowing what these paintings are about is not instantly legible or accessible, rather it is felt or sensed and contemplated and needs the viewer to find a different pace. This is not meant as a trick but more as a deliberate way of involving people, a way in which to turn audience into companions.

The paintings surface is my interface between my inner and outer personalities, the duality of the conscious and subconscious. What the painting becomes and the journey it takes are a by-product of drifting between the 2 states.

This is the source of the abstraction in my work, its open-endedness. They are part-formed, partial mindscapes, landscapes that are part-imagined and part of us. Spaces where I have been and left something behind and found something else.


My paintings grow and change, transform, an organic build-up of layers and previous images and tones that is broken back into, torn away, covered up, pushed back, revealing the archaeology of the past. It gives the work an elusive feeling, where the colours drop in and out of themselves and the structures and spaces are a palimpsest of what came before. As a consequence, my work revolves around time; the time it takes to make them, histories and memories, traces of another time and place. This is where the work finds its tone of voice, a contemplative space, maybe melancholy, or calm, the poetry of yesterday.