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CONFLUENCE, Samantha Clark Exhibition at Northlight

At the Northlight Gallery, Stromness from September 9th to 20th 2023 there will be an exhibition by Samantha Clark.

Samantha Clark exhibition poster

Northlight is pleased to present CONFLUENCE, the solo exhibition of new work by Samantha Clark; an exploration of drawing as both a solitary contemplative practice, and as a shared activity that offers space for collaboration and conviviality.

Shaped by Orkney’s dynamic natural environment of wind, sky and particularly water, the exhibition invites us to notice how water permeates all things including ourselves. We all move between varying degrees of wetness in a world of water: sea, lake, stream, aquifer, cloud, mist, rain, fog, vapour, tears, sweat, piss, in a liquid reality that interpenetrates our own bodies and minds. Water is the element most visibly disrupted by the climate and environmental crisis. Increasing frequency of floods and persistent droughts, pollution, over-extraction, ocean acidification and melting glaciers all bring into question our exploitative relationship with this most vital of elements. 

In contrast to the quick mutability of water, Clark’s drawing process is a slow and meditative practice, a patient accretion of simple marks that results in intricate forms resembling sea foam, cloud forms or wave patterns. Mark-making takes the brief moment of the hand’s movement and holds it still, recorded in the mark that remains. The slow, repetitive method she employs makes each drawing a receptacle of time, a net that gathers up these moments so they are visible in a single instant that shows the timespan of the drawing’s own making. She often uses reflective and iridescent media such as silver leaf and chrome ink in combination with acrylic and gouache to build up surfaces that change, as water does, with each shift of light and angle of view.

The artist will be present in the gallery throughout the exhibition and invites visitors to join her in making a large-scale drawing, formed from thousands of tiny white circles that will flow together to fill a roll of black paper. These will create a visual record of how our tiny individual actions come together and build momentum like the confluence of waters in a great river.

Samantha Clark is a visual artist and writer based in Birsay. She has exhibited her work internationally, and in 2019 created a 30-metre mural for the entrance hub of the Balfour Hospital in Kirkwall. 

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