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 since 1695 and until recently he occupied a studio above his grandfathers former net loft a few minutes walk from the Tate Gallery within the hustle and bustle.
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. 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.
This series of filmed interviews offer an insight into the creative process of a range of artists and creative practitioners, from those represented within our collection, exhibition programme or commissioning process, to those who work in the region. In this film, Samuel Bassett discusses his influences and context.