Sam Rees: Inspired by Scilly
We're impressed and inspired by young artist, 14-year old Sam Rees, who has so beautifully captured the essence of Scilly as part of his GCSE Art portfolio. Here Sam tells us a little bit about his island-inspired work, including this piece 'Camel Rock', which has been selected for inclusion in the Royal Academy's Young Artists' Summer Show.
'I first visited Scilly aged six months old and have visited regularly ever since. I have so many happy memories of Scilly holidays; walking around the coast path, playing on the beaches, having picnics on the rocks, fishing and rock pooling, paddle boarding over the clear, turquoise sea and boat trips to other islands.
I created ‘Camel Rock’ as the final piece for the second part of my portfolio for my art GCSE which I took this year and I chose to explore the theme ‘Scilly Isles’ because the islands are so special to me. ‘Camel Rock’ is a view from Porth Hellick beach, St Mary’s, of a rocky promontory called Camel Rock, a jumble of rocks that I enjoy climbing every time I visit the islands.
I was inspired by artist Tracey Elphick’s vibrant style and this final piece uses techniques that I observed in her work such as sgraffito, flicking, splodging and collage. For impact I wanted to go big and chose to use 3ft x 2ft board, and collaged using old Scilly maps, photos we’ve taken on our holidays, old postcards, Tresco Times magazines and leaflets (kindly donated by the Tresco Island Office and Isles of Scilly Tourist Information Centre) to make it especially Scilly-themed. I also hid photos of my family and me on our Scilly holidays in the collaged areas to make it extra personal.
I love this piece and I’m so proud that it was selected from over 33,000 other entries to be part of the Royal Academy’s Young Artists exhibition which is currently open online. Creating work for my Scilly Isles portfolio was such a wonderful distraction from a gloomy winter lockdown, it almost felt like I was there.
When can I come again?!'