I think this gives an interesting dialog to my work as it shows I am a consumer of pop culture,” explains Cranstoun.
Primarily a concept artist, Cranstoun’s artistic career has many different outcomes such as sculptures, brail plaques, hand stitched flags, drawings, ceramics and paintings. Like most of his collages, the artist’s Artbank + QPAC commissioned piece will be digitally designed, then painted large scale using watercolour on paper with impressive detail.
A keen follower of Artbank and its artist opportunities, Sam Cranstoun is appreciative of the commission he has been awarded. “I have always been aware of Artbank and its initiatives. I think they have a great way of supporting Australian artists at all different levels of their careers. When I saw the Artbank + QPAC commission advertised I thought it was a great opportunity to put in an ambitious application,” explains Cranstoun. “Working with Artbank has been a friendly and supportive process. They have been following my work for a while, which is very encouraging as an artist”.
Previously exhibiting at Tokyo Downtown Cool Media Festival, and twice finalist for the Archibald Prize, QPAC’s Associate Director of Arts Programming, Kirsten Siddle is excited to be welcoming Cranstoun’s work to QPAC. “We are delighted to be awarding this year’s commission to Sam Cranstoun and look forward to seeing his ideas for an ambitious work on paper come to life. Sam is one of the rising stars of the Brisbane arts scene and his provocative exploration of historical imagery and events should create an exceptional work for the Artbank + QPAC Commission,” says Siddle.
Article written by Mel Fletcher
Published by West End Magazine [winter edition #27, 2016]
Images credited to photographers mentioned
© Georgina Ashford
Astro © Sam Cranstoun
The multidisciplinary artist was commissioned $6,000 to create his proposed paper-based artwork, to be exhibited for twelve months before making its way into Artbank’s prestigious collection. Cranstoun’s ambitious piece will be 150cm x 100cm. A singular artwork rather than a series, the Artbank + QPAC commission differs from Cranstoun’s usual outcomes, yet still maintains its conceptual beginnings. “My practice involves a lot of research, looking at key historical figures and events. Through my research I accumulate a lot of images that tend to sit in my computer for a while. I had an idea to use the images that were left over from my research and create a collage, giving them new life”, explains Cranstoun.
Using his backlog of sourced images, Cranstoun will playfully but very selectively collage them together, as a sort of tribute that will give the viewer a chance to bring their own meaning to the work. “I like the idea of the images I use having ambiguity, not being attached to one historical theme or narrative. I’m a bedroom researcher, removed from the rest of the world.