Samuel Bassett

Oi Oi

Vigo GalleryVirtual Reality
19 March – 21 May 2021

 

Oi! Oi! -We are very excited to present Samuel Bassett’s first show with Vigo.

 

Born in 1982 Samuel Bassett comes from Cornwall, more specifically the town of St Ives steeped in fishing and artistic heritage. His family have been there as fisherman and working on the land, mining and farming for hundreds of years and until recently he occupied a studio above his grandfathers former net loft at Porthmeor studios a few minutes walk from the Tate Gallery within the hustle and bustle. 

‚Äč

Contemporary stories from his own experience and family lore, and snippets or news from the ups and downs of his everyday social life combine with nuanced vulnerability and an expressive and experimental hand to create psychologically layered paintings about the human condition and his/our place within the madness of contemporary life. His sensitive and questioning introspection and emotional flip flopping means nothing is too obvious or too pretty in his paintings.

 

Melancholic self portraits merge with real and imagined characters adapted to the story and how he is feeling at the time. The paintings often feel like they are questioning themselves and himself and this questioning and blurring of recollection combined with the artists joy of exploring painting for paintings sake make for images that have longevity and a strongly recognisable yet ever transient voice. A gregarious and engaging character his mind nevertheless seems to be questioning the bigger harder issues and to flit excitedly between concern and celebration.

 

Like many in Cornwall he grapples with the stark economics of housing and employment opportunity afforded to his friends and family yet at the same time he is gregarious and really fun/ funny to be around.  This dichotomy is evident in the many selves he reveals in what are essentially self- portraits- the naughty one, the worried one, the diligent one, the curious one, the drunk one, the sexy one. There is surface and underbelly on display, sentient moments collaged into a story, the narrative coming from the everyday trials and tribulations he experiences.

 

Cornwall’s traditional industries of fishing and mining have been in slow decline for decades and the County is heavily dependent on tourism. It is also one of the most naturally beautiful places in the world so there is a predictable affordability problem for locals on low wages and a migration from the coast inland.  It is a haven for escapees from Britain’s cities who come to surf, swim and eat in stunning surroundings. Thoughts and counter thoughts on these issues weave in and out of the imagery like complex internal conversations. 

 

These paintings are for the most part self portraits combining many states of being and narratives in one frame. He loves the idea that as he ages they will ‘become more grotesque, fatter, balder, odder.’

 

Toby Clarke

March, 2021

 

selected works

The Great Squall
2016
Oi Oi Get Me An Egg
2019
Cold night Drowning
2018
Beach Comber
2019
Sloop Dogs
2018
Bus to Tesco
2020
Sharks Down Pett Level
2019
Up Trevalgon Hill
2019
Fire in the George
2019
Burning Boat
2018
Fish Supper
2020
Man in a Bowl
2020
I buried my feet to grow
2020

video

Samuel Bassett

Vigo Gallery 'Oi Oi' in Virtual Reality 19 March - 28 May 2021

The Great Squall

2016Ink, acrylic and oil bar on canvas320 x 210 cm / 126 x 82 5/8 in

Oi Oi Get Me An Egg

2019200 x 180 cm / 78 3/4 x 70 7/8 in

Cold night Drowning

2018Ink, acrylic and oil bar on canvas 210 x 190 cm210 x 190 cm / 82 5/8 x 74 3/4 in

Beach Comber

2019196 x 194 cm / 77 1/8 x 76 3/8 in

Sloop Dogs

2018Ink, acrylic and oil bar on canvas 150 x 120 cm / 59 x 47 1/4 in

Bus to Tesco

2020Ink, acrylic and oil bar on canvas181 x 122 cm / 71 1/4 x 48 in

Sharks Down Pett Level

2019Acrylic spray and ink on canvas150 x 120 cm / 59 x 47 1/4 in

Up Trevalgon Hill

2019Ink, acrylic and oil bar on canvas192 x 155 cm / 75 5/8 x 61 in

Fire in the George

2019178 x 165  cm / 70 1/8 x 65 in

Rock

2020Ink, acrylic and oil bar on canvas101 x 81 cm / 39 3/4 x 31 7/8 in

Burning Boat

2018Ink, acrylic and oil bar on canvas91 x 76 cm / 35 7/8 x 29 7/8 in

Fish Supper

2020Ink, acrylic and oil bar on canvas76 x 60 cm / 29 7/8 x 23 5/8 in

Man in a Bowl

2020Acrylic on panel46.5 x 33 cm / 18 1/4 x 13 in

I buried my feet to grow

2020Ink, acrylic and oil bar on canvas48.5  x 41.3 cm / 19 1/8 x 16 1/4 in