House of Coco meets young London artist, Samantha Parkhouse after Royal Academy success

Samantha Parkhouse is a British contemporary artist, who works in a range of mediums including painting, sculpture and photography. [...]

Samantha Parkhouse is a British contemporary artist, who works in a range of mediums including painting, sculpture and photography. Most recently, Samantha exhibited in the Royal Academy in the 250th anniversary of the Summer Exhibition, having her most famous work ‘Fortitude’ 2018 (part of her ‘Cancer Series’) curated by Grayson Perry and placed alongside a Hockney. In the same year, the entire series was exhibited in the Royal Scottish Academy.

The artist’s portraits are a celebration of beauty in all its forms. They explore themes around identity and the human spirit. Deliberately large-scale and purposefully attention-seeking, the works explore redefining ideals of beauty through portraiture. The sitter’s story is told to celebrate the beauty of individuality, empower difference and champion the spirit of resilience. By utilising a hyper-realistic style, nothing is hidden.

Samantha’s latest series of portraits celebrates the beauty of vitiligo. Vitiligo is an inherited condition where pale white patches develop on the skin and is caused by the lack of melanin. This series aims to bring positive awareness to vitiligo and to show that true beauty resides in uniqueness, spirit and strength. The series portrays the beauty of the marks vitiligo makes, whilst addressing the strength of the individual in question.

The sitters – Carissa, Tom and Andrea, wear their vitiligo with confidence. Samantha uniquely captures their enduring spirit in a hope to inspire others around the world. Three exquisite portraits feature in the series. ‘Clarissa’ is currently exhibited in the Royal Academy of West England, UK. All paintings are for sale.

The artist is now working on a series focused on African tribal women and how they are able to express themselves and culture through beautiful jewellery, exquisite body paint and traditional dress. The artist has also found inspiration in special moments captured in African wildlife. 

When did you know what you wanted to be a professional artist

Always. I have always made things with my hands and have forever had a creative spark. I have a natural urge to create and have always found ways to express my thoughts and feelings through drawing or making with my hands. 

It is fantastic to see that your work was exhibited at the Royal Academy. With London being such a vibrant capital, does the city inspire your work?

Absolutely, London inspires my work. It is such a cultural hub and full of fascinating people. In fact, my first solo exhibition was entitled ‘Perspectives’ and it was a documentation of London through photography and mixed media. This was held at the then Theobald Jennings Gallery in Albemarle Street, Mayfair when I was just 15. Ever since, I have found the joy of sharing my creativity with others and I strive to host more exhibitions in the future. 

What has been your career highlight to date?

A highlight has been the fact that I have exhibited in the Royal Academy on three separate occasions – in London Piccadilly, Edinburgh and Bristol. Being able to show the public my work that raises awareness for conditions such as vitiligo is truly rewarding and it is what motivates me to create more.

About Samantha Parkhouse

Samantha Parkhouse graduated with a BA in Painting from the University of Edinburgh in 2017, having previously studied at City and Guilds London Art School and Sotheby’s in New York City. Samantha started her career winning the Turner Contemporary Prize in 2012, hanging her work in the Turner Contemporary, Margate. She went on to hold two sold out solo exhibitions in Albemarle Street, Mayfair, London and has been part of a collection of mixed exhibitions in both Edinburgh and London.

For more information, please visit: www.samanthaparkhouse.com

@samanthaparkhouseart

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