An exciting joint exhibition – “SHEEP” – will be arriving at pastures new in the ArtHouse, Eastbank Street at the beginning of July. It is a shared retrospective by established local Southport artists, Sam Cookson and Sam Harris-Wright, which will offer an insight into their distinctive personal working methods through an exclusive pairing of both ‘old and new’ artwork.

“Two Sam’s, both alike in dignity,
In fair Southport, where we lay our scene,
From ancient sketchbooks to new pieces,
Where artists paint makes artists hands unclean.
From forth the creative minds of these two bros
A pair of star-cross’d creators take their stand.”

Ex KGV and Southport College student, Sam Harris-Wright explains, “We wanted to give visitors a little look into our practice as a whole – a glimpse through the keyhole – exploring nature’s playful return to a quieter urban landscape along with some other stuff that we like.”

Sam, who went onto study B.A. Fine Art at Newcastle University, is a graphic artist, designer and owner of the website, Studio Ounce, launched in 2018 which generates a wide selection of bespoke commission work. He specializes in illustration, painting, drawing and print work where he vigorously employs his bold, colourful and stylized representation across a varied subject matter from animals and portraits to landscapes.

He recently had a successful winter showing at Martin Mere called ‘Wild Nature’ that celebrated the visual colour and beauty revealed out in the natural world, particularly in birdlife. His varied output also proved popular when it was staged as part of the Winter Art Market at Liverpool Anglican Cathedral in December last year.

Sam Cookson, who currently has work on display at Vintage Home in Birkdale Village and who also exhibited at the Winter Art Market, is a M.A. graduate from UCLan in Preston. He is now an established sculptor-come-toymaker who enjoys conjuring up repurposed sculptures with found and salvaged objects. Once seen, they are not easily forgotten. He produces scratchbuilt imaginative assemblage and automata using highly detailed metalwork and steam/salvagepunk ceramic processes to fantastical effect.

For this new joint exhibition, both Sams wanted to showcase their wide-ranging portfolio of work under a common theme.

“Initially we were going to look at extinct animals and diminishing habitats but in the wake of COVID-19 we felt it might be more appropriate to pay homage to our feral friends that are returning back to the urban landscape. We wanted to create a juxtaposition of animals to reflect the current madness in today’s climate in a fun, tongue and cheek manner.”

Sam Harris-Wright adds, “Because I already paint and draw a lot of animals, it felt like a natural segway in subject matter, that combined with Sam’s work (Cookson) will create a really unique exhibit at the ArtHouse.”

This exclusive showing is certainly not one to be missed. It will be on display at the ArtHouse, Eastbank Street from July 7th -18th. The gallery is open Tuesday – Friday 10.00-15.00. Saturday 11.00-16.00.

In line with Government advice, the SCA team have introduced strict measures to keep visitors to the Gallery as safe as possible: There will be a policy of 2 visitors at a time, with social distancing once inside, and hand sanitise dispensers at the door to use on arrival.