Unwelcome Guest (detail), 2017
Oil on canvas (210 x 140cm)
© Samson Tudor

Student Spotlight: Samson Tudor, ACS/Loughborough Materials Prize 2017
October 30, 2017
The next student to be featured in our Student Spotlight series is Samson Tudor, recipient of one of two prizes awarded by ACS at Loughborough University this year.

Samson, who has recently started his third year of study at the university, has received a £500 prize to aid in the cost of purchasing materials during the final year of his undergraduate degree.

Find out more about Samson's large scale paintings and the inspiration he draws from socio-political commentaries.


Q. How would you define your work in three words?


Narrative, figurative art.


Q. What does winning the ACS/Loughborough Materials Prize mean for you as an artist?


Winning the prize means that I can commit to my goal of creating a series of large scale canvases, without the worry and added stress of running out of funds to do so. The ACS prize money allows me to stay ambitious most importantly, and will prove a massive help. It’s given me an excellent opportunity.


Q. What medium do you mainly work with and why?


Paint. I enjoy the challenge of creating a large canvas and attempting to translate the image I have in my head onto it. It can be intimidating and a real battle sometimes, but I think it’s very rewarding when complete.


Q. Where do you find most inspiration for your work?


I find a lot of inspiration from the news and socio-political commentaries, especially in the current climate. There’s a great deal out there at the moment to poke fun at or to reflect on, and it seems the right time to be doing so. The underlying aim of my work is to explore the human condition, so ultimately people and their stories inspire me.


And of course I’m equally inspired by other artists, studios and galleries. I took a trip to Madrid recently to see Picasso’s Guernica, now that provides huge inspiration.


Fragment of Land of Lost Content, 2016
Oil on canvas (166 x 127cm)
© Samson Tudor


Q. Take us through your working process.


I use notebooks rather than sketchbooks at the beginning, and constantly rework ideas and concepts until I feel they have enough room to be effectively developed. As I often utilise elements of symbolism and allegory in my work, research and reading is essential.


Only when I have a clear focus and message in mind do I then create a range of compositional studies and begin to produce artwork. For me this is the most arduous part of the artistic process. I keep folders full of all my image references and quickly scribbled down notes, which I also refer back to in order to generate new ideas.


My methodology has changed somewhat in the past year to incorporate photomontage, which I now combine with sketching to create proprietary studies and initial compositions. I find that photomontage also greatly helps re-energise my approach to painting.


I will continue to develop studies and change certain compositional elements whilst I’m putting paint to canvas. Increasingly more so, I try to keep a strong use of imagination as the most important part of my process. I hope that’s inherent in all my work.


Q. Can you remember the first work of art that you created? What was it and why was it so memorable?


I was raised in a very creative environment, which I’m hugely thankful of, so I can remember creating art very early on. It was an attempt at an abstract expressionist Jackson Pollock painting, on what seemed, at the time, the largest canvas in the world.


I couldn’t quite get the technique, I remember being frustrated and wanting to throw the brush at the canvas. I guess it took a while to stop doing that.


Ghosts (detail), 2017
Oil on canvas (150 x 130cm)
© Samson Tudor


We wish Samson the best of luck in his final year, and look forward to finding out more about how the ACS/Loughborough Materials Prize has contributed to his final degree show in 2018.