Artist Sam Douglas has completed his 10 months as artist in residence at Highgreen. 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)


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.

ENTWINED: Rural. Land. Lives. Art.

I am particularly interested in ancient sites such as stone circles, standing stones, burial mounds etc and have visited many in Britain, Ireland and Norway. Having researched the area around Tarset, I can see there is a good amount of such sites to explore, as is often the case with high moorland areas that haven’t been intensively farmed and settled over the years.

I seek to survey such sites in a similar manner to antiquarians, looking for clues in the landscape- latent earthworks etc. I would also like to include more recent features in the landscape such as radio masts, lines of pylons, street lights and the remnants of mining and quarrying, so as to create a particular equation of elements in my compositions.

Gathering information from anyone with archaeological knowledge or folklore would be good as well as general conversations with local people with particular stories about the land- farmers etc. This social interaction with a local community and the opportunity to run workshops will provide an extra dimension to the experience of place.

I visualise making a large number of small paintings both in the landscape and the studio that will aim at a form of mapping out of the landscape. These works will inform larger paintings and I will use the opportunity to experiment with new materials.


Sam Douglas has exhibited widely since graduating from the Royal college of art in 2007, showing in Russia, Norway, China, Canada, Portugal, Switzerland, Ireland, Scotland and England.

Recent exhibitions include The Turning World at Charlie Smith Gallery, London, Vanishing point at James Freeman Gallery, London, @PaintBritain at Ipswich museum, UK, Transpositions at St. Petersburg Museum of Nonconformist art, Contemporary British Painting, at Huddersfield Art Gallery, and Restless Nature at The Newlyn Gallery, Cornwall.

Solo exhibitions include Wayfarer at Carslaw St. Lukes, London, Remnants at the Royal Hibernian Gallery, Dublin, New paintings at The Cross Gallery, Dublin, and the Corn exchange gallery, Edinburgh.