Sam Lock paints viscerally. Using blowtorches and sanders as well as the brush, he sees each canvas as a battlefield. Sanded, stained, scorched and sealed, each work is the result of a continuous cycle of making - a repeated process of building up and destruction. The works have an elusive feeling, revealing layers of past images and tones that drop in and out of themselves. This sense of painterly archaeology brings attention to the movement of the mind and the residue of action, and the pervading sense of unpredictability. The physicality of Lock’s process is evident throughout his paintings. His expansive gestures and sweeping movements on a monumental scale as well as his smaller works, where marks made by the movement of the wrist are added to paper, translate into an energetic artistic presence visible throughout his works.  


‘Lock has talked of his aim to ‘submit himself to the canvas’, eliminating extraneous thought in order to guarantee a purity of response in which concentration and intuition, thought and action, go hand in hand’

Ian Massey


Lock’s preoccupation with ‘the presence of absence’ is evident throughout his works. Inspired by the works of Samuel Beckett and Harold Pinter, the equivalence of the spoken word and protracted silence influence Lock’s practice. His painterly language of abstract marks and signs contribute to an exploration of the ways silence and interval might be iterated visually. The concept of time has been one of Lock’s primary themes in painting - time to create; history and memory and traces of other times and places. This ‘poetry of yesterday’ is sensed in all of his paintings. They are not paintings that reveal themselves at a glimpse. They require the viewer to find a new pace, to take the time to discern and contemplate the deeper resonances of the works. Acting as an interface between the conscious and the subconscious, the paintings’ surfaces create a connection between inner and outer worlds. According to Lock, ‘the best paintings nurture you from looking, into feeling,’ creating an experience that evolves from an artwork. 


Lock’s interest in the relationship between history and archaeology, incorporated into his painting practice, was developed during his time in Rome as a scholarship student. Sam Lock trained at Edinburgh University and College of Art, graduating with an MA in Fine Art Painting and an MA in History of Art in 1997. He has exhibited regularly with Cadogan Contemporary since 2015 in both our London and Hampshire spaces and has shown at various galleries and fairs in Europe and Asia. 


Studio Shots
In Conversation with Sam Lock | Tempo, Cadogan Hampshire

Sam Lock trained at Edinburgh University and Art College, graduating with an MA Fine Art Painting and MA History of Art in 1997. Whilst at college he won a scholarship award to travel to Rome to explore his interest in the relationship between history, archaeology and the processes of painting, a preoccupation that has fired his work and continues to underpin his practice.


Originally from London, he lived in Canada, trained at Edinburgh and now lives by the coast in Brighton. He has been a member of the Red Herring Studios in West Hove for just over 2 years.


1997 MA (Hons) Degree in Fine Arts and History of Art, University of Edinburgh 


Selected solo Exhibitions 
2021 'Tempo', Cadogan Contemporary London and Hampshire 
2020 'Presence of Absence', Lemon Street Gallery, Cornwall, UK
2019 'In Situ', &Gallery, Edinburgh, UK
2018 'Unremembered', Twelve Twelve Gallery, The Hague, The Netherlands 
2013 'Trace Element' Solo Show, Studio 226 Chelsea Design Centre

Selected Group Exhibitions and Fairs 
2018 'Juxtaposition', Galerie Biesenbach, Cologne, Germany
2015 Royal Academy Summer Exhibition, London 
2008/09 Affordable Art Fair, London 
2003 O2, London
1997  Royal Scottish Academy, Edinburgh