Patterns of growth and disintegration are the focus of Sam Hodge’s work with paint and print. Materials are constantly morphing, new forms emerging from simple physical processes such as erosion, compression, fracture and flow. Complex patterns repeated, but always different. Her natural science background and training as painting conservator have also given her an interest in our responses to the shifting and unstable nature of our material world; our attempts to understand, control, collect and invest matter with meaning.
Finding patterns in paint processes that echo those found in the natural world Sam Hodge interacts with the dynamic and generative properties of paint. Pouring it onto the canvas and tipping it so that rivulets erode the paint; pulling paint apart to create branching patterns of ridges or allowing the paint to pool and diffuse as it dries. She responds to the patterns that emerge by attempting to control, collect or embellish. The paintings and monotypes that result, often call to mind biological images, reminding us that living things emerge from similar material interactions. Paintings are not static, passive objects, but continue to change slowly throughout their lifetimes, something she has encouraged in some recent works by choosing pigment mixtures that will fade or change colour over time.
Sam Hodge is also drawn to human-made objects that have been transformed by processes of accident and weathering. She collects specimens of this (un)natural history from the coastal strand-line, city roads, jacket pockets or the studio floor. Things eroded, smashed or squashed flat, which she then transforms into prints using a mixture of drawing, photographic processes and direct impressions into the plate. These etched and pressed traces create ambiguous images, resembling biological and geological forms and reminding us of our material connections and entanglements.
Now living in East London and working from a studio at Chisenhale and at East London Printmakers, Sam Hodge was born and bought up on the Kent coast. She is now engaged in a project to walk around the whole coastline of England and Wales, which she is documenting on Instagram. The area where land and sea meet is a fruitful source of both inspiration and found objects for her. It is an edge, a border or skin of the country, what defines it, but also a porous site of exchange and flow, a place constantly in flux, changing from tide to tide and shifting over years. It is a place where human efforts to build, control and defend, but also the power of water and weather to transform are both very apparent.
Vital Matter, Muse Gallery, London W11 2019
A Catalogue of Misfortune, book launch and exhibition, Roz Barr Architect’s Gallery, EC1, 2015
Repetition and Difference, Chisenhale Art Place, London E3, 2013
By Accident and Design, Ada Street Gallery, London E8 2009
Opens, shortlists and prizes
RA Summer Exhibition 2019, Royal Academy of Arts, London W1.
Wells Art Contemporary Open 2018, The Bishops Palace, Wells.
Neo:Proof Print Exchange box set, Neo Gallery, Bolton 2018
International Print Biennale, Northern Print, Newcastle 2016
Selected by Kaleid editions 2016 and exhibited at Oslo and Offprint at Tate
Neo:PrintPrize, Neo Gallery, Bolton, 2016
The Masters, selected by Norman Ackroyd, Bankside Gallery, London SE1, 2016
Creekside Open 2015, selected by Richard Deacon, APT Gallery, Deptford, London SE8.
Griffin Open, Griffin Gallery, London W11, 2015
RA Summer Exhibition 2015, Royal Academy of Arts, London W1
Lawrence King Prize winner, East London Printmakers Summer Show, Embassy Tea Gallery, Bermondsey
Pushing Print, Margate, 2013
Selected group shows and art fairs
By the Way, Lewisham Arthouse, London SE14, 2019
Cabinet, Espacio Gallery London EC1, 2019
As the Crow Flies, Bo.lee Gallery, Peckham, London SE15, 2018-2019
Surface Tension, The Stone Space, Leytonstone, London E11, 2018
Woolwich Contemporary Print Fair, Woolwich Arsenal, London 2018 (also in 2017, 2016)
A Festival of Print, East London Printmakers, The Art Pavilion, Mile End, London E3 (also in 2017, 2016)
Between the Lines, Gerald Moore Gallery, Eltham, London, 2018
In Residence, Griffin Gallery, London W11, 2017
White Noise, The Crypt Gallery, St Pancras, London NW1, 2017
The Story so Far, Snap Gallery, Vancouver, 2017
A Lot of Things Have Happened, curator Denise Hawrysio, Malaspina Printmakers, Vancouver, 2016
The Other Art Fair, (Represented by NOA) London W1, 2016
Things That Are There, curated by Matthew Swift, Pie Factory, Margate, 2015
Fingers Crossed, The Engine Room and Rogue Gallery, Manchester, 2015
MANPOWER, Rua Poco dos Negros, Lisbon, 2014
Please Write, curated by Julia Royse at Posted Gallery, London E8, 2011
Merchant House Residency, Symi (1 month), 2019
Griffin Gallery project based residency (2 months), 2017
Investigating artist at Wellcome Collection Reading Room (1 month) 2017
Chisenhale Art Place, Studio 4 residency (2 months) 2013
A Series of Unfortunate Events, Hack the Barbican, Barbican, London EC1 (2 weeks) 2013
Publications and press
A Catalogue of Misfortune limited edition artist’s book by Sam Hodge, Accidental Press.
Happy Accidents; feature by Lucy Davies in Telegraph, June 27 online as Lucky Breaks
Artist’s book acquired by several public collections in the USA and Europe including: MoMA, The Met, Lafayette College Library, The SAIC Joan Flash Artist’s Book Collection, Oslo National Academy of the Arts, and Chelsea UAL. Paintings and prints in numerous private collections in the UK, also in New York, Kuala Lumpur, Barcelona, Lisbon and Paris.
Post-grad dip in Conservation of Easel Paintings, Courtauld Institute of Art, London University
BA hons (2.1) in Natural Sciences, New Hall, Cambridge University.