Interview with Sam Peacock
Curious Duke Gallery takes a step into Sam Peacock’s Studio.
The day starts bright and early, preparing the studio for all the magic to form! It all beginnings with a selection of paints and the finest of coffee, not forgetting the steels!
Steel is prepped and cleaned before the paint goes on
First layers of vibrant paint being applied to the steel
More gorgeous colours of paint applied, arabica coffee and paraffin wax is beautifully placed on to add depth and a bit of power when it's all set on fire.
The magic happens!!
We ask Sam a few questions…
1. What does “being creative” mean to you?
I think I have always made things, right from when I was living in the midlands. As kids we grew up making model Airfix kits and watch towers out of bits of timber, that’s how it all starts isn’t it, you realize that you enjoy making things and being creative. I remember when we left school and all buggered off to art college, I can honestly say that they were the most interesting times I had, being surrounded by paint and making collages out of pieces of junk you had found, as 1920’s abstract artist Kurt Schwitters would of done.
2. Can you describe the time when you first realised that creating was something you absolutely had to do?
I didn’t have that moment, honestly, I didn’t wake up and think “I’m going to quit my high flying city job and rent a studio in Dalston as I have a creative urge” My mates and I just did art as we were too thick to do anything else, (well, I was anyhow) I failed university completely, was of no interest other than just to socialize, if I went back now, I would do it all differently I taught art for a long period, then becoming a father made me quit teaching and spend all my time making art.
3. What’s your favorite thing you’ve ever created?
Apart from a host of air fix kits, would be the time when I felt comfortable enough to use freely use blue within my work. For years, blue eluded me, I know that maybe sounds strange, but I mess around with the colours you see for ages, heat treating them, applying, removing them, trying to get the shades to work, Blue I feel came to me in 2014/2015.
4. What’s the story behind your favorite piece(s)?
The Ironsea series was my favorite collection. Making them was so quick in process, from layering to setting them on fire, to varnishing them as soon as some of them had cooled down. Was almost like the ADHD version of making art. It was the third series we sold a lot of with the Curious Duke Gallery, late 2014 early 2015.
5. What are you trying to communicate with your art?
The whole story is connected to the changing face of the landscape, everything from historical references to the whole issue surrounding Hydraulic Fracturing AKA “Fracking” and the chaos that will cause, c02 and the emissions scandals, how the coastline has changed during the last 1000 years, how forests disappear, how we used to trade globally and how that has shaped who we are as a nation. A narrative, but as a visual discussion.
6. Which creative medium would you love to pursue but haven’t yet?
Installations are something I am doing commercially at present, such as the lobby to Novotel in Canary Wharf or Old Oak Common in West London. They are parts of the creative process I am defining. I have just taken down “Into the Abyss”, a story about countries and their c02 emissions which I had on public display in Battle Almonry, Sussex for a month. I can imagine that is the challenge for me.
7. What’s the best advice you ever had about how to be more creative?
A good friend of mine gives me tips on how to use colour. We went to art college together, were old primary school friends and have stayed in touch. I have a mate who’s a geologist and he comes up with some wild ideas from time to time, another good friend of mine used to build scratch models from stirrers from Café Nero, Eleni gives me tips on sizing and I generally follow her advice on this.
Yes, as it happens. I scratch built a Tamiya model tank and part of the Ardenne countryside for my college interview in 1993. It was in a collection of historical installations which I had took along to meet the team at Rugby College. That got me into all of this. That and a car door that I worked on for my final dissertation at university in 1998. I had set fire to it with petrol in the car park of the university and created a black plume of smoke, got a proper bollocking for that. But I worked on it and eventually sold it to the technician of Rugby College for £50. Was my first sale. There was also a piece which Eleni sold at the AAF in Battersea 6 odd years back., can’t remember what it looked like, but it kicks started sales with the Curious Duke, so that’s up there also.
9. What is your most important artist tool? Is there something you can’t live without in your studio?
The mad thing is that we bought the house partly as there was a studio at the back. It’s not the biggest, I haven’t got any on site staff, my daughter takes all the photos for me and she’s 10. I’m outside also most of the day as something is always on fire. So, the most important tool is my mask which keeps all the smoke out. I’d be proper scuffed without that.
10. Why do you make art?