Great response to our 20th anniversary SweetTree art competition
We’ve been absolutely delighted by your response and the fantastic artworks submitted by our clients and team members, on our theme of ‘Celebrating Positivity’.
We asked London-based artist Sam Henning to give us her feedback on the entries and, when we announce our winners later this month – as chosen by our public vote – we will share Sam’s feedback on the winning entries. Please note voting for our competition winner has now closed. We have some great prizes of art materials in store for the winners.
We also asked Sam to tell us about the artists and artworks that inspire her, and why she feels art is so important in our society.
Who are your biggest artistic influences?
My artistic influences include Francis Bacon, I love that his pieces look half human, half alien or beast. I also like Andrew Salgado, who uses many different images and symbols in his work. You begin to notice more as you look at the paintings for a while. Salgado also plays with the idea of being human and not being human.
Rauschenberg, another influence of mine, uses collage and incorporates paint, monogram photography and other images into his art pieces. He uses everyday objects from the real world to create art which I find interesting, as well as his use of video and performance. I also like The Infinite Mix, which uses image and video, and Frida Kahlo.
What is your favorite medium?
I like using many different mediums depending on which mood I am in. These include mixed media, sculpture from wire and sewing materials, drawing, painting and photography.
Where do you find inspiration?
My inspiration comes from my thoughts and surroundings while out walking and from everywhere really. I enjoy drawing while out at exhibitions and museums and also when observing different scenes and places. I like to observe different objects and draw the same thing a few times to learn about it more each time.
Do you believe art is important to society?
Art is so important for society to help challenge our perspectives, it is also proven to be good for people’s mental health. Art needs to be be more accessible to everyone.
Why do you think art is a great therapeutic tool?
Art can help with social inclusion, depression and anxiety. It is an outlet for difficult feelings and a way to communicate thoughts visually. It is also very enjoyable and you get a sense of achievement. It has the potential to help improve neuroplasticity in brain injury survivors, but more research is needed.
What are you most proud of artistically?
I am very proud of my large-scale wire sculptures. I have been involved in many art exhibitions and I like going to museums and producing new pieces of art from what I have seen. I have also designed a book cover, wedding thank you cards and my sculptures have appeared in COS clothing shops across London.
One of Sam’s wire sculptures on display in COS
Sam promoting one of her displays