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Sam MacDonald

A move to the remote northern Scottish province of Orkney sparked a love of the sea, fishing and diving for the increasingly known metals artist, Sam MacDonald.
Sam MacDonald
Published in X-Ray Issue: 05 - Jun 2005
Authored by: | Photography: | Translation:
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Made up of 70 islands, Orkney, which also has a rich cultural and historical heritage, is a haven for diving, fishing and outdoor enthusiasts. Sam has taken inspiration from his beautiful and magical surroundings to inform his work of marine life forms and textural surfaces.

Originally from Lewis, Sam began to study and contemplate the sculptural form of fish after taking up fishing. From the glint of scales to the skeletal structure, Sam captures the textural and fleeting forms of fish in various metals of copper, lead, pewter and gold leaf.

He finds the dimension of time in his work by utilizing the concept of fossilization. By studying the impressions of sea life left in split rocks millions of years old, Sam fashions prehistory and ancient memory in his sculptures with masterful manipulation and distressing of metal materials.

He often leaves out visual information of fish forms, offering only clues to the subject, thereby creating a sense of mystery to the image.

He says that the mind’s eye will often fill in missing visual information in a way that gives the viewer a more full and rounded experience of the artwork.

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