• Rebecca Sammon

    Rebecca Sammon

    Rebecca Sammon is a British artist currently living and working in London. She studied Fine Art at the University of Brighton, Painting and Poetry at Kansas City Art Institute and The Drawing Intensive at The Royal Drawing School. Rebecca has works currently available via Partnership Editions, She recently had a solo show ‘Moon Shell Sea Swell’ with Blue Shop Cottage in London, and has had work acquired by Soho House and private collections globally. 

     

    Her bold, poetic pieces pulse with vibrant immediacy. Often Rebecca’s pieces are inspired by abstracted elements of nature interacting with human forms within imagined landscapes, moving from suggestions of mythical narrative into the more ambiguous, fluid space of uncertainty. The balance of figures flow through the work and the often bold colour combinations transport the figures from reality to an altered dream state world.

     

  • Can you tell us about your practice?

    I am a London based figurative artist, I mainly create works on paper working with oil pastel into pencil drawings. I work with representations of the human figure - these figures will sometimes have wings or elements or move in ways that transport them away from true human representation to an imagined world. As I work mainly from memory the figures only really come to life in the work so I use bright colours and bold combinations not typically associated with representational figurative work. 

     

  • Do you make preparatory sketches for your work or does it evolve naturally?

    With You In The Woods (2021)

    Do you make preparatory sketches for your work or does it evolve naturally?

    I draw from imagination daily and work fast on freehand line drawings - motifs and ideas from these drawings often work into my larger colour pieces. When creating larger works, I tend to work across multiple pieces as I find it works best to not get too precious about an individual piece - sometimes I will create a series of figures as a starting point then start to work over the top of these figures almost trying to ignore the body to build a world that starts to interact with the figures. 

     

  • How has your work evolved over time? Has your subject matter changed?

    I would say my work has evolved most within the last 2 years where I spent a lot more time life drawing, this has given me more confidence to work on figurative drawing from imagination which has opened up a new world for me. I do also use references especially as life drawing dried up during the pandemic but I only use the references for the initial quick sketch, I don’t like to rely on these too much as I want to allow my figures and creatures to develop more naturally. My subject matter is developing and I am working on new pieces at the moment with multiple figures - the way these figures and forms can interact has so much potential. It’s challenging but it’s a direction I am experimenting more with at the moment. 

     

  • Who are your biggest inspirations?

    Spirit Of Why Not (2021)

    Who are your biggest inspirations?

    It’s such a tough question as I feel it changes week by week depending on what interests me most at that time or for a particular piece. Overall though I have things I always come back to and I usually feel most inspired by visiting the National Gallery, I love to head first to the Sainsbury wing to check out the Botticelli’s, Fra Angelico’s, and Mantegna works and I go back to see these pieces again and again so I guess these could be my biggest inspirations. 

     

  • How does nature and mythology influence your work?

    I have always had an interest in folklore, mysticism, symbolism and mythology. The three of these all kind of jumble together in my head and filter equally into my work. I like the idea of a painting that can tell a story although the artist may have been creating a certain narrative the work is always open wide to interpretation. My love for mythology comes from being a child and spending time in Connemara on the west coast of Ireland - It’s an area steeped in history, myth and memories all set in a wildly beautiful landscape so it’s the perfect backdrop and I regularly imagine my figures are there. 

     

  • Do you find painting a meditative practice? Is there a spiritual element to your work? Do you find painting a meditative practice? Is there a spiritual element to your work?

    I have always been interested in meditation and it’s something I use to reset and reignite the imagination, the thing I like most about meditation is not necessarily encouraged on a meditation retreat ( I have taken regular Vipassana repeats since I was 17), the retreats operate on a very strict schedule - wake up at 4 am - practising meditation for 11 hours per day. It’s tough to say the least - they take away your phone and don’t allow any books, music, drawing, writing material etc, you also can’t eat after midday, and can’t talk or look at another person for 10 days. The main aim is just there to focus on the meditation but alongside this, the imagination can go into overdrive as the only thing you are doing is focusing on breath and sensation - it’s amazing - coming out of there I always feel like a brand new person filled with new inspiration which is super helpful for my work. 

     

  • How would you describe the relationship you have with colour? What role does it play in your work?

    Colour is important to me and I love to work with a bold palette with sometimes odd unexpected combinations. I tend to work with flat planes of colour as I love the way this allows the experience of colour to be quite direct. I feel like I go through colour phases and I always love to think of colours in pairs or trios then work the rest of the colours in the compositions around this. 

     

  • Is there anything new and exciting in the pipeline you would like to tell us about?

    I am super happy to be a part of the Open Call Delphian Gallery 2021 - all the artists will be exhibiting in August together so I’m looking forward to this.