I first came across Sam Wade's artworks after a notice in the newspaper at the end of last year. So when I had a spare moment I went along to Eva Breuer Art Dealer in Woollahra and had a look. They were truly beautiful and, of course, all the paintings I wanted to buy had been sold! But, no fear, Sam is a busy artist and he has held a new solo exhibition every year for the past three years - which is pretty impressive given he is not yet 30. But, then, Sam's star is certainly in ascendancy as he also won the Brett Whiteley Travelling Art Scholarship in 2006 and has been an artist in residence at Cite International des Arts, Paris. His most recent works, which were hung on November 15 at Eva Breuer, include some voluptuous nudes, which remind me of Norman Lindsay.
PS I was quite surprised when I saw the photo of Sam - he didn't look at all like what I was expecting. Don't you love when that happens: your judgement or stereotype of a person is turned on its head.
Which five words best describe you? How about messy, obsessive, optimistic, easygoing and hopeless with money (thank god for my wife). Sorry is that more than five?
What’s your proudest achievement? So far it would have to be winning the Brett Whitely travelling scholarship in 2006. It signalled to me that I had been able to make paintings that were relevant and edgy to higher critical circles, using my traditional art training.
What was the starting point for this exhibition? My home state, Tasmania. I began working outdoors on small panels for an exhibition in Hobart in October (Tasmanian Reflections, The Salamanca Collection). The work led to larger work mainly composed in the studio, and before I knew it an entire show was developing from the meditative outlet of painting a few landscapes in the country.
Who inspires you? I have my heroes like all painters, but apart from them almost anyone.
What are you passionate about? Naturally my work, if everything's in order.
What’s the best lesson you’ve learnt? Coming from a small Tasmanian town and arriving in Sydney by myself barely 18 years of age, it's more like a thousand little lessons than one big one I think. Mainly they've been to do with figuring out how I fit into the big picture (no pun intended), like not feeling guilty about sleeping in on Monday morning if I have spent the entire weekend working day and night.
Which person, living or dead, would you most like to meet? Before thinking too much about that one I'll say Lloyd Rees. The first artist to truly inspire me, and from all accounts a great raconteur and a lovely bloke. I spent a large part of my teenage years trying to draw like him.
What are you reading? Paint by John Honey. A fictionalised account of a Tasmanian artist, set in Hobart and based on actual Tasmanian identities. It's tied in nicely with this year's work.