Art exists to bridge the gap between language and the inexplicable and Sam Ireland is an artist tackling such challenges. Interrogating his own, and in turn, others’ relationship with depression and anxiety, Ireland is exploring those feelings that, as yet, defy complete explanation.
Born in Faro, Portugal, Sam Ireland moved to the UK as a six year old. Currently living in Farnborough, Hampshire, the artist studied at the Birmingham Institute of Art and Design before moving on to develop as a freelance artist. Primarily working in pen, charcoal, inks and watercolour, Ireland’s work is most often figurative; portraits feature often, along with some animals, botanicals and occasional inanimate objects. Ireland lists Egon Schiele amongst one of his major influences and Schiele’s work clearly manifests in the often twisted or tormented characters rendered in beautiful but broken line work. There are also echoes of the violence of illustrator Gerald Scarfe’s work, as Ireland uses splattered inks and scratched text to add drama and aggression to certain pieces. The human condition is addressed here and there is a strange juxtaposition at play between fragility, beauty, depression and the ugly truths of being vulnerable and alive.
Ireland is currently building a portfolio with which he intends to exhibit nationally. Those drawn to artists who are personally invested in what they produce will find much to investigate in Sam Ireland’s body of compelling work.