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Wednesday 6 April 2016

Graduate Sam Bullock puts on first exhibition in St. Helier, Jersey.

Jersey-based illustrator and Solent BA (Hons) Graphic Design graduate Sam Bullock recently hit a major milestone in his young career, putting on his first exhibition as a professional artist.

A collaboration between Sam and fellow local artists Josh Bale and Will Bertram, Arcane exhibited at Fort Regent, a former Napoleonic fortress turned entertainment complex overlooking St. Helier, Jersey, in January and February 2016.

When Sam graduated from Solent in 2015 he returned to Jersey to work as a cartoonist at local studio Kartoon Factory, creating satirical images for local media. “I think at first I was worried about coming back to the island after being gone so long, and about being restrained creatively somehow… but I had kept in touch with Will and soon enough he and I had collaborated on some pretty unique projects, including a bedroom mural on board a 1950s tugboat and a Mexican restaurant’s window display.”

Medieval illustrations with a contemporary twist

The idea for Arcane came about when the two of them were looking through books of medieval art one day. “Will and I were immediately drawn to the humour and obscurity of the illustrations,” Sam says.

The two artists had been working with Josh at Kartoon Factory, and his style seemed like a good fit with theirs. When they asked if he would be interested in joining them in putting on the exhibition, Josh quickly agreed.

Influenced by medieval artists’ work, the Arcane exhibition blended the three artists’ individual styles into a fascinating collaboration – bringing together fantasy landscapes and surrealism with a contemporary twist.

“Walking into Arcane, an overwhelming sense of intrigue hits the viewer.” That’s Jersey-based artist Jason Butler, whose works have been exhibited at the National Portrait Gallery and internationally. He continues: “Sam Bullock’s work has an obvious fascination with narrative imagery, drawing upon eclectic sources and collating them into a coherent whole. All of the images play off each other and lead the audience through a series of drawings and paintings which entice and cajole through the way the images are cropped and composed.

“The exhibition was exciting, particularly for a Jersey audience as it deals with contemporary issues in a non-preaching manner, playfully manipulating imagery to tell an alternative narrative.”

After visiting Arcane, Jason was so impressed that he recommended the exhibition for Jersey Museum – and it went on to have a second lease of life in the museum’s Link Gallery in February and March 2016.

Some of Sam Bullock’s work at the Arcane exhibition

For more information about Solent’s BA (Hons) Graphic Design, visit our course page.