Sam Collins Art – “Love, Space, Grace”

Sam Collins Art is, you guessed it, an artist who was born and raised in Chatham and Gillingham, living in Medway all of his life and now living in Rochester. He was commissioned as 1 of 10 artists for Medway’s Rainbow Effect project to create a piece of temporary art promoting the safe return to the high street post lockdown.


Sam was absolutely delighted to have been selected as one of the 10 artists of the projects; he was very excited and proud to be a part of it. Furthermore, it couldn’t have come at a better time what with lockdown making it very difficult to get any other paid work.


Sam was born and raised in Chatham and Gillingham, living in various areas of the Medway towns throughout his life but now lives in Rochester.


In order to receive the commission, the artists had to find the space for the art in a public area and obtain written permissions from any owners. Sam had initially planned to paint straight on to a wall in Chatham high street but struggled to obtain permission; thankfully, the owner of this wall in Rochester, very kindly gave Sam permission.


The woman in the portrait of Sam’s painting is Chloe, his partner, who spent every day during lockdown going to work in a care home which tied in nicely. Sam told us he always starts off pencil drawing out all the various shapes of shades of dark and light before painting it all with a brush and masonry paint, layering up the detail. It’s a relatively long and draining process but he enjoys it.


Sam told CommunityAd the process of creating the portrait, “I painted the portrait with masonry paint onto plywood boards making a canvas size of 8ft x 12ft and hand drew and cut stencils to spray paint the virus particles. I mounted the plywood boards onto the wall and spray-painted extra virus and the wording around the painting and straight onto the wall.”


Sam knew exactly what he wanted to create and the message he wanted to get across with his work, “I felt quite strongly that I didn’t want to create a piece that was telling people what to do. I wanted to come from a different angle and promote the idea that wearing a mask is purely an act of love. I feel wearing a mask is one of the most important things we’ll have to do now, so I felt this was the right message to paint.

“I’ve had a bit of expected kick back from people who hate the idea of wearing a mask and don’t necessarily believe the science on the virus in general which is part of the reason why I wanted to focus on a mask with this piece. I wanted the message to reach those views in a way that puts across the act of wearing a mask is an even more powerful show of love and humility if you happen to think that way.”


The words spray painted below the painting were added following the council’s request, “The council wanted some extra wording on the design to help promote the safety aspects of returning to the high street, so I decided to use a play on the government’s guidelines of “Hands Face Space” and changed it to “Love, Space, Grace” which I felt fit the aspects of returning to the high street safely together.

“I’ve had some lovely feedback from the community. It always surprises me how lovely people are about my art and I can’t thank them enough. Their kind words and positivity mean the world to me!”


To see more of Sam Collins’ Art across Medway, follow his Facebook @samcartndesign. To find out more about Medway’s The Rainbow Effect project, visit the website.

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