The first solo show from London-based emerging painter Sam Nicholson, “Bring me my papers, bring me my cheese.”, celebrates painting as a powerful tool for story-telling. Self-describing the works as ‘oversized illustrations for a children’s book for adults, that will not and should not exist’, the pieces are full of energy and gesture that hold the physicality of making as important a medium as the oil paint itself. This show pulls from the last eight months of Nicholson’s practice, reflecting government restrictions with notebook scribblings and lockdown liftings with paintings of epic scale. An inescapable relation to literature and the idea of the character lends itself to the first public appearance of Nicholson’s ceramic works, which appear to act as relics of the stories present in these paintings.
“My work as a painter starts first and foremost as a written practice, a personal mythology curated from a panoply of stories deriving from conversations with friends and an active engagement with my own dream-space. Short stories, poems and nonsense literature, such as ‘consuming one’s spine’, help form a powerful image to transfer onto canvas. The often large scale oil paintings act to me as illustrations and manifestations of a surreal world I wish to create, that harbours the confusions and humours of this world, such as suffering, sexuality and the fragility of our everyday. To encapsulate the emotions of these aspects of life I aim to create my work quickly, drawing in charcoal instinctively and staying true to those initial impressions throughout the painting process that follows. With simple colouring and exposed canvas and charcoal, I wish to let the moment of creation act as just as much of a medium as the paint, as I believe those moments in which I mark make keep the emotions as alive in this new world as they were in ours.”