Artist Sam Douglas spent 10 months as artist in residence at Highgreen from June 2019 to April 2020. Sadly due to Covid 19, Sam’s Open Studio event was postponed. However you can download a PDF of his end of residency booklet that includes an essay by Alexander Marr here: Sam Douglas Booklet (PDF) You can also watch a short video of his studio at the end of the residency here.
Over the years I have travelled widely to gather material for paintings, often on foot or bicycle as a way of experiencing the landscape more closely and as a counterpoint to the static nature of my studio practice.
Often using classical landscape motifs as a starting point, I aim to disrupt and transform them through painting processes that push the subject of the painting elsewhere; sanding down and scratching into the painting to create a sense of erosive forces and pouring layers of paint and varnish to build up the surface, evoking sedimentation and silting up of the land.
The burial and uncovering of elements within this surface can be suggestive of archaeological activity, with ambiguous forms half sunk in the strata of the paint- cryptic architecture, unnatural outcrops of rock and the remnants of industry.
The built up surfaces also enhance and distort the image and generate an altered light and atmosphere- attempting to catch something of the visionary if not psychedelic in the chance combinations.