With a range of diverse and dynamic artists living and working on the Fylde Coast there is a wealth of creative spaces on our doorsteps that mostly go unnoticed day to day. We often encounter art work on social media or in shops and galleries. It is easy to forget that the final product you see in those digital and physical spaces start their life somewhere and that “somewhere” might just be a little closer to home than you think.
Creative people often need to think outside of the box when it comes to finding a space to let their imaginations run wild, that means studio spaces can pop up pretty much anywhere and everywhere.
Every month I will be visiting a space that an artist has transformed into a studio and give you a sneaky peak at what goes on in the places where art is created!
This month I visited local artist, Sam Jayne Simpson at her studio in Blackpool.
A few roads over from the town centre, down a narrow back ally, a street suddenly opens to a row of houses and workshops. Tucked between a bodybuilding gym and brightly coloured garage doors, a group of creatives has found such a place. Rumoured to have been the birth place of a certain local newspaper, Studio3Live is a hive of music activity, and where you find a beat there is a good bet you will find a fine artist like Sam Simpson.
Sam can’t sit still for long, her passion for music and dancing flowing through her fingertips and erupting on to large scale canvases. Powerful and vibrant paintings of people who like her, love to dance.
So, it makes sense that Sam would find her artistic home amongst the DJ’s and tech crew of Studio3Live, a group of creatives she has come to think of as family.
She moved in only last October, but the hall leading to her studio is already lined with her work and her playful spirit is seeping into surrounding shared working spaces within the studio. It seems that the universe really was listening when she asked it if there was a place where her two passions could co-exist. Not only is it a place to paint but a place to move!
An unassuming plain white door off a long corridor hides Sam’s personal work space; a tall ceiling and plenty of light, a tad draughty at times she admits, but a calming and welcoming place to get the creative juices flowing.
The set-up of Sam’s space has been dictated by a few technical necessities but after the basic layout had been sorted, the feel and look have grown organically. Paint tubes and papers clutter one corner and a comfy sofa that she inherited when she moved into the space in the other. Her canvasses fill up most of the floor space and a few items from home add the personal touches and inspiration.
The iconic symbol of Sam’s practice, a large sign stating, “We love dancing, come join us” is acting as a coat hanger today. Normally beckoning passers by to join in her dance workshops which pop up all over town, it is having a well-deserved day. Hung from the far wall is a stunning close-up portrait of a man on black paper, that fills most of the long drop from the ceiling. She picked up this piece from last year’s Blackpool and Fylde Degree show, clearly a prize possession as it hangs in pride of place in full view of everyone entering the space.
She confesses to not spending as much time as she would like here, mostly night time when the feel of the studio is very different, electric and full of sounds. Music is always playing of course, whatever time of day!
She is hoping to put in more time over the next few weeks, creating an area in which she can spend some time meditating and reflecting on the work she is making here. She is thinking about opening the space in early April for visitors and I hope it is something that she decides to do. I left feeling upbeat and inspired; glad to have had the chance to see where one of the town’s most loved creatives spends her time.
For more information about Sam and Studio3Live and her work check out the info below:
Facebook: Sam Simpson Art
Instagram: Sam Simpson Art
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