Sam Shendi

Sometimes contemporary art just makes you smile, whether it’s the wit and intelligence, the humorous pluck that an artist creates something incredible with just lateral thinking. Sam Shendi’s humour and vibrancy in his work has an emotive complexity. His most recent sculptures, from his ‘Harlequin’ collection, have an anthropomorphic style, they resonate the imaginations of childhood, the fictitious characters that sit in children’s dreams or story books. ‘The Dream Catcher’ six different artworks, a crouching humanoid creature with horns in pillar box red, or striding in cobalt blue, the wide smile on two legs in coloured stripes anchored in black socks, or the figurative half human, life sized in stripes. Combined with the subtle attention to detail, with little birds, the whole has an overwhelming presence of power. As if somehow something is unconsciously evoked in you. His artworks are a mystery of imaginings, all the colours symbolising meaning; green is innocence, blue is in “being blue” and red representing anger or sexuality. The artwork ‘Defeated Butterflies’ a powerful political narrative, a life-size bright green bull, that symbolises government. ‘Fragile’ a colourful representation, of a shire horse in blue. His ‘Calligraphy’ series or ‘Paper Cut’ sculptures in liquorice all sorts colours that almost resemble Mondrian’s paintings come to life. The artworks playing with light, projecting differing characteristics as shadows.

The contorting shapes in his sculptures encapsulate the complex relationship between mother and child.  That hint on Shona art, these metaphysical shapes, portray the bulbousness of late pregnancy or the co-dependancy of young children that cling to us. His ‘Giant’ series, these real life giant, colourful, shiny, bold and playful artworks that are everything but straightforward as they embrace the abstract, resonating artists like Henri Moore and Miro, in a unique contemporary lacquered finish. The range and complexities in his diverse artworks are surrealism in vogue. The influences don’t really matter, as this Egyptian born artist explains, “as a student you are like a seed” he tells me, that the world doesn’t need another of the same artist, you must not stick to one style, but keep creating your own.

After graduating in Fine art from Helwan university in Cairo in 1997, he didn’t work as an artist, instead working with a prestigious interior design company, whose clients included the president of Egypt, and then setting up his own interior-design business near the Red Sea. His father told him, artists only make money once they are dead; there is a hierarchy that you don’t argue with, he tells me smiling. There are differences between the cultures of Egypt and the UK. Explaining that, only when he left Egypt, did he know Egypt. How he embraces growing older, as he thinks experience makes an artist, and how he relates to the complexities of culture and why people are always drawn to the past. This is part of his philosophy, and the relevance of it is in his work.

Sam spent a few years travelling around the Middle East and Europe and made his way to London. In 2000 he made the choice to settle in the UK, spending time in London, then moving to Yorkshire, where he met his wife, they now have their own family. For a long time Sam turned his back on art,  not looking or working in the world of contemporary art for 10 years. His first exhibition in 2010 in London, of his metal works, are his journey out of depression, a subject matter he is all too familiar with. Describing the cultural differences of growing up in Northern Africa, home of the Pyramids and his complex relationship with his family life, the middle child of five children. Now a father himself, he understands a lot more about being a parent.

He moved away from the stainless steel collection in his first body of work.  Inspired whilst watching his car being repainted, the shiny, smooth colourful finish, that doesn’t fade and can permanently hold its own especially when displayed outside.  Sam emphasises that he studied architecture and engineering and how it’s essential for the work he does, the sizes and scale, you have to understand how monuments are made.  He doesn’t disclose too much detail with the secrets of his methodology.  He works with a welder and the man who painted his car and that his sculptures are all hand carved.  The artworks are covered with fibre glass, resin and a high gloss mix.  He mentions Damien Hirst, Jeff Koons and Anthony Gormley who have a team of people making their works.  In the 10 years, Sam’s extensive bodies of work have travelled the world.  Currently his work is being exhibited in Johannesburg, and another show of Mother & Child to be revealed soon.  He has won numerous awards; the W.Gordon Smith & Mrs Jay Gordon Smith Award 2020; The Liverpool Plinth Winner of the Public art award 2019; the FIRST@108 Public Art Award and the Royal British Society of Sculptures.  Exhibitions in Scotland, London, Portugal, Germany, Belgium, in an array of cities, and prominent locations, his works displayed together with art royalty such as his own inspiration Henri Moore, Barbara Hepworth and Peter Randall.  He has an array of private collectors from around the globe.

Sam, talks to me about creating his artworks, that you feel like you are a god, making the art, and when his work is done; how it’s essential to move it out of the studio, into a container.  So it doesn’t influence his next piece.  His creations are not made to make money, that they are an emotive diary of his life, and that he is not a sales person.  It’s only when the art is in the gallery or photographed that he can see the value.   His humility is evident when he explains why he prefers to live in Yorkshire instead of London.  London is jungle he tells me, and how Yorkshire men and women leave you alone.  However, he enjoys how the occasional farmer that may come by and look at his artworks standing outside his studio, asking questions.  This is what it’s all about, Sam tells me, as soon as you question an artwork it’s made an impact and has you thinking, and that is the power behind the meaning of art.

Interview: Antoinette Haselhorst

Dream Catcher I – Harlequin collection by Sam Shendi. Photo: Andy Garbutt

THE LIVERPOOL PLINTH

ABOUT

A striking new sculpture that explores themes of mental health and depression, has been unveiled on The Liverpool Plinth at Liverpool Parish Church (St Nick’s).

Created by North Yorkshire-based and Egyptian-born sculptor, Sam Shendi, whose works have been displayed around the world, Split Decision is a 4.5 metre, multicoloured, minimalist structure, and for the next year will sit on the famous plinth at the side of the church overlooking Chapel Street and the city’s UNESCO World Heritage waterfront.

Brought to the city by Liverpool BID Company, in partnership with the church, and city gallery and art organisation, dot-art, Split Decision uses colours to express a multitude of emotions and fears that a depressed individual experiences when having to make a decision. Represented by the outstretched legs, the artist also hopes to convey the positive opportunities that sit on the horizon for those who are struggling to overcome their mental anguish.

With over two-decades in the limelight, Sam Shendi has won numerous awards for his work, as well as becoming a member of the Royal British Society of Sculptors in 2014, and is renowned for his eye-catching, coloured abstractions of the human figure and mind.

SAM SHENDI

Sam Shendi makes an audacious statement about art that counters the notion that “It’s not art until you finish it.” One could say the opposite is true of Shendi’s minimalist objects. They appear to be accidental byproducts of some elaborate process undertaken to produce a thing wholly unrelated to the art he is presenting. If one were to enter his studio and observe him meticulously applying perfect high gloss finishes and precise details to one of his sculptures one would invariably be compelled to ask, “what is it?” And that is when one will know that Sam Shendi has once again proven the old adage, “True innovation does not exist until it is given the care and attention it doesn’t yet deserve.” Well, it could someday be an old adage.

Born and raised in Egypt and trained in monumental architecture, his work employs much the same principals of divine proportion as did the great pyramids of his homeland. And for all we know they may have been finished in bright primary colors as well.

Sam & Friends

Ever since he was a student he has been interested in exploring steel as a medium using scrap metals and car parts. His current body of work, mostly rendered in steel, are cut from sheets and welded, to produce perfect angles and lines. The manipulation of the steel, aids the way the light falls on the pieces giving them a friendly almost weightless look, impervious to the power of gravity. Assisted by the use of colour to deceive the eye, flouting a sense of gravity and taking the attention away from the material. Also giving the work a strong optical impact.

These sculptures are like three-dimensional pictures. They are subtle reminders that the line of art history is not broken. In them we can readily find linguistic loops from Brancusi and Gerrit Thomas Rietveld. These imageries undergo a ‘conceptual remix’ in Sam’s poetic sculptures, not far removed from the masters of 1970s Minimalism, Donald Judd and Ellsworth Kelly.

REDUCED AND REVELATORY HUMAN FIGURES BY SAM SHENDI

ON ART AND AESTHETIC, January 18, 2017

Carefully situated between ‘representation’ and ‘abstraction’, the candy-coloured figures of Yorkshire-based Egyptian-born sculptor Sam Shendi easily resemble children’s toys. Made of steel and aluminium, they are minimalistic projections of human bodies and states of mind – executed in paints that shine blood red, cartoonish lemon, ultraviolet and pumpkin orange.

Sam, who graduated from the Helwan University of Fine Arts in Cairo in 1997, whittles down physical structure and mental orientation so that he can – through simplicity – magnify a particular emotional or intellectual expression.

Sam Shendi

His bright and joyful pieces are vessels or containers that disclose hidden truths. They are laconically titled: “Atlas”, “Signature”, “Mother and Child”, “Eve”, “The Sperm”. Thematically, they remain universal – accessible to all despite differences of taste, age or cultural background. Highly inventive, cool and monumental, these are works of art that will only escalate in value to staggering amounts over the coming years and decades.

While most artists freely incorporate elements from the works of luminaries in their fields, Sam prefers to maintain a distance from the practices of other sculptors. He finds isolation productive. He says: “I don’t have an artist which has inspired me as such and I don’t follow artists to get inspiration. I studied history of art as part of my undergraduate study in Cairo. Even then, I tried to, as much as possible, avoid connections with others. Since 2008, I have separated myself completely from others and the contemporary art world in order to create original work and so my imagination is not corrupted by others.”

Are his Egyptian roots reflected in his art? Sam comments: “Egyptian art history is mostly focused on figurative human study from ancient times until now. I guess being Egyptian and having my education there has influenced the fact that my work uses the human figure, as a subject to present concepts in my work.”

Sam strongly believes in the educational and social value of art. For a 2014 feature on Telegraph and Argus (a daily from West Yorkshire), he remarked: “I don’t want to give the next generation something rude or shocking. I want to give them something colourful, engaging and inspiring. I want people to understand that art can be an education…Art should be created so the public can engage with it. I want my art to change somebody. I don’t want people saying ‘it is so sweet’. I want people to look at it, to think about it, and to know that this minimalistic sculpture comes from realism.”

Sam Shendi is a member of the Royal British Society of Sculptors. He won its prestigious First@108 Public Art Award in 2013. His sculptures have been exhibited in Bradford, Blackpool, London, Amsterdam, Munich and other places.

Links: Website (www.samshendi.co.uk) | Saatchi Art (www.saatchiart.com/account/profile/296286) | Facebook (www.facebook.com/SamShendiSculptor) | Instagram (www.instagram.com/sam_shendi) | Twitter (@SamShendi).

Images used with permission.

Witnesses
Memories
Shelter
Big Step
Atlas
Signature
Mother and Child
Alert
Evolution
Ripe
samdiscus
The Sperm
Eve
The Smoker
Mime
The Ride
The Wedding Dress
The Kiss
Isolated
Lifeboat
Family

RSA EDINBURGH: SSA | VAS OPEN EXHIBITION

Following the first successful venture together in 2018, the SSA | VAS Open is the second exhibition in partnership between the Society of Scottish Artists and Visual Arts Scotland

Sam Shendi

The SSA was founded in 1851 with the aim to show controversial and unexpected art introducing impressionist work by Gauguin, Matisse and Van Gogh, Picasso and Edvard Munch. It continues in the spirit of its founders by highlighting innovative new artists. VAS was founded in 1924 as the Scottish Society of Women Artists by William McDougall to assist his daughter, Lily who was not recognised in professional male-only art circles. Today, the organisation is open to all painters, sculptors, ceramicists, crafts, photographers.

Art is all about challenging perceptions to make us view the world – people, places, society, ideas – in a fresh light and aesthetic form. Presenting ‘the Shock of the New’ for the 21st century, the Open features the work of 150 artists selected from 2,500 entries worldwide. 

At the Royal Scottish Academy, as you come up the stairs to the Upper Galleries, you will first encounter ‘Dogs’ by recent graduate Emelia Kerr Beale – a large-scale sculpture of a pure white, mythical gazelle-dog creature, with long neck and spindly legs. This was given a Merit award by the Arusha Gallery.

Capturing the eye are the luminous blocks of colours of ‘Triptych’ by Rowena Comrie, a most pleasing composition with its interlinked layers of blue, green, yellow and bleeding splash of red.

Emelia Kerr Beale – ‘Dogs’, steel, plaster finished with Conté (compressed graphite powder mixed with wax).

Around the walls, abstract paintings abound, such as ‘Climate Precipice’ by Rowan Paton, a striking and most dramatic landscape of a craggy mountain or perhaps a glimpse of the Antarctic, shards of melting icebergs, with a dark, black cloud, perhaps an oil slick.  The Open Eye Gallery selected this work for an award, giving Paton a future solo exhibition. 

Damien Cifelli, an Italian-Scottish artist and designer has created ‘Artefacts of Tarogramma’ illustrating a hidden civilisation which only exists in found objects, masks, fabulous jewellery, figures, and architecture models. Similar in concept to ‘The Treasures from the Wreck of the Unbelievable’ by Damien Hirst at the Venice Biennale (2017), Tarogramma is a small-scale work of inventive imagination and wit. 

Damien Cifelli – ‘Artefacts of Tarogramma’ (detail), wood, plaster, ceramic, metal, fur, polymer, silver, leather, stone, cotton.

The vision of a modern urban landscape is William Braithwaite’s ‘Concrete Multitude’, a series of 49 miniature apartment blocks – which won the Richard Coley Award for Sculpture.

William Braithwaite – ‘Concrete Multitude’, concrete.

If you saw a lost glove hanging on a railing this winter, you may be bemused by the scatter of  black gloves created by Mark Houghton, ‘Left,’ made not of leather but cast in bronze.  

Mark Houghton – ‘Left’, bronze.

The Cordis Trust showcases craftsmanship featuring all manner of materials from weaving to basketry. Sarah Jane Henderson specialises in embroidery to explore pattern, colour and texture with a childlike freedom of expression to denote an underlying emotional insight. 

The ornate ballroom-like galleries around the RSA are ideal spacious grand salons to present large sculptures and installations, fine furniture, jewellery, applied arts, crafts, decorative textiles, prints and paintings.

In the central Salon we can see the work of Sam Shendi, quirky, candy-striped tubular, twisted constructions, ‘Mermaid’ and ‘Hidden Symbols’, and the rather surreal work by Eve Watson – her weird but wonderful ‘Playing with Glass’ features a chair and a Zimmer frame, transformed into rather alien objects. 

Sam Shendi – ‘Hidden Symbols’, stainless steel.

As well as the awards mentioned above, several other galleries, art patrons and institutions have given generous cash prizes and exhibition space. Also see the calendar of events, performances, talks and hands-on demonstrations. The rich heritage of these two prestigious art organisations brings together their shared premise, past and present, to find, encourage and show genre-busting, ground-breaking art.  

Eve Watson – ‘Playing with Glass’, glass, found objects, glue, varnish, wax.

This SSA|VAS Open presents an exemplary, multi-disciplinary selection of contemporary arts and crafts, commissions, established artists and young graduates, offers the opportunity to view the most imaginative, exciting and perhaps, unexpected, controversial, artwork being created today. 

The Mound,
Edinburgh EH2 2EL

Sam Shendi at the Conrad Algarve with Artcatto.

FAD Magazine, 28 June 2019 by Mark Westal

Sam Shendi is an Egyptian/British sculptor, who has been gaining a lot of attention of late for his large scale vividly coloured and somewhat surreal pieces. Sam understands the impact of size, of the monumental. At the Conrad, Algarve with Artcatto, Sam is showcasing a selection of pieces from his series – ‘Only Human’.

His background in design and furniture production means that his technical skills are superlative, the pieces are constructed from a durable fibre resin and then sprayed with car paint and polished to high finish. His work can therefore be placed in an interior or exterior and will not fade or weather over time.

The series – ‘Only Human’ refer to the fragilities and emotions that we all experience. Shendi enjoys playing between the notions of figuration and abstraction. He has incorporated a colour coding system to the work, where red signifies anger, green to envy and black denotes depression with white relating to purity and even hope. The primary colours and swirling patterns hark back to different era, with a nod to 60’s psychedelia. Shendi delves into aspects of nostalgia, memory and childhood. There is a sense of loss (he was deeply affected by the death of a relative’s child) and his own, perhaps irrational fear and anxiety of having to deal with a parent’s worst nightmare.

When one looks at his large pink, black and green leaning form ‘Moving Forward’, we are struck by the tension between the desire to go forward yet the figure is firmly stuck in one place by its’ weighty massive black feet. There is uneasy equilibrium, an uncertain balancing act at play here.

Play is also a word to describe Sam’s work, for even with its’ undercurrents of seriousness and personal reflection, there is much humour to be found here. We cannot help but to smile at the figure bent over backwards – ‘Falling into the Past’ as everyone can identify with that seemingly impossible feat, but we are also prone to the psychological trap that the title implies.

The universal acclaim for Shendi’s work is ever growing and he has developed quite a considerable fan base on social media with nearly 60,000 followers on Instagram alone. His futuristic work was selected to be in the art collection of Ironman – ‘Tony Stark’ and it appears in his house in the ‘Avengers’ movie.

artcatto.com

He is a member of the Royal Society of Sculptors and is the winner of the First@108 Public Art Award in 2013 and it has been recently announced that his piece ‘Split Decision’ has been selected as the winning piece for Liverpool plinth public art award 2019, it will be on the plinth for a year beginning this June.

Giant new multicoloured sculpture unveiled on Waterfront

Abstract showpiece will be in situ for next 12 months on The Liverpool Plinth

A striking new sculpture that explores themes of mental health and depression, has been unveiled on The Liverpool Plinth at Liverpool Parish Church (St Nick’s).

Created by North Yorkshire-based and Egyptian-born sculptor, Sam Shendi, whose works have been displayed around the world, Split Decision is a 4.5 metre, multicoloured, minimalist structure, and for the next year will sit on the famous plinth at the side of the church overlooking Chapel Street and the city’s UNESCO World Heritage waterfront.

Brought to the city by Liverpool BID Company, in partnership with the church, and city gallery and art organisation, dot-art, Split Decision uses colours to express a multitude of emotions and fears that a depressed individual experiences when having to make a decision. Represented by the outstretched legs, the artist also hopes to convey the positive opportunities that sit on the horizon for those who are struggling to overcome their mental anguish.

With over two-decades in the limelight, Sam Shendi has won numerous awards for his work, as well as becoming a member of the Royal British Society of Sculptors in 2014, and is renowned for his eye-catching, coloured abstractions of the human figure and mind.

Sam Shendi said:

“As with all my work, my hope is that Split Decision will have an impact on the people of Liverpool, both visually and emotionally, and stir a conversation about the issues of mental health and depression. Importantly, I want Split Decision to give hope to those going through dark times in their lives, so they know that there is always a light at the end of the tunnel.

“It is not every day that you get the opportunity to showcase your work in a location as iconic as Liverpool’s world famous waterfront – and for that I must thank Liverpool BID Company, Liverpool Parish Church and dot-art. I have always admired the city and the fighting spirit of its people, and I look forward to seeing how they respond to Split Decision.”

Split Decision was selected by a committee including the BID, St Nick’s, the Bluecoat, Liverpool Cathedral and dot-art, following a call-out to artists working in the north of England to submit their works for consideration. The new sculpture replaces last year’s popular winner, Gold Lamé – a suspended, bright gold car – by Tony Heaton, which was originally commissioned as part of Art of the Lived Experiment for DaDaFest 2014 at the Bluecoat.

Bill Addy, chief executive of Liverpool BID Company, and chair of the Liverpool Visitor Economy Network (LVEN), said:

“The BID is committed to enhancing the Commercial District BID with thought-provoking, public art – creating an attractive environment for those who live and work in the area, and encouraging people from outside to visit and utilise the businesses located here.

“I should also mention the themes behind Sam’s work about mental illness, depression, and importantly, hope and faith. There’s a positive message in there and I look forward to seeing how it resonates with people.”

Lucy Byrne, managing director of dot-art, said:

“We received so many fantastic submissions for the 2019 Liverpool Plinth, but for us on the panel, the themes behind Sam’s sculpture, not to mention the vibrant colours, really caught our attention, making him a worthy winner. I just can’t wait to see how people react to it. dot-art’s mission is to enable everyone to enrich their lives through art and we believe that this striking work will do just that, bringing joy to those who live and work in the area.”

The Revd Canon Dr Crispin Pailing, rector of Liverpool, added:

“Through The Liverpool Plinth project, St Nick’s is once again able to provide a platform for local artists to showcase their work to the people of Liverpool. Split Decisions encapsulates all that the church represents – hope, optimism and belief – and I’m confident that this will translate with people who see it. The church has a long history of using visual art as a way of stimulating a conversation about a particular theme – I’m excited to see this tradition continue.”

The selection panel involved Lucy Byrne, the Revd Canon Dr Crispin Pailing, Sue Darwell from Bruntwood and Commercial District BID Board Member, Lesley Woodbridge from Liverpool City Council’s Public Art Office, Linny Venables and Adam Smythe from the Bluecoat, and Pete Spiers from the Diocese of Liverpool. Sam will also be awarded an additional £1,000 prize.

Before Split Decision and Gold Lamé before it, The Liverpool Plinth lay empty since the removal of Brian Burgess’s Christ on a Donkey several years ago.

WHEN ART BECOMES THE HAPPY PILL TO CURE DEPRESSION

Slick finish: Sam Shendi poses at Graham’s Fine Art Gallery alongside a work from his Giant collection. These large imposing resin sculptures represent different stages of depression the artist went through after abuse

Vincent van Gogh’s bright-yellow paintings seem at odds with the depressed and tortured life of the artist, suggests Sam Shendi. The Egyptian-born artist has particular insight into this paradox, as he too creates art that appears lively, bright and upbeat despite his difficult childhood and the darkness it cast over his adult life.

“If I had to translate the life I had previously in my work, there would be a lot more dark colours and it would be less friendly,” he says.

The UK-based artist showed his art in SA recently, at Graham’s Fine Art Gallery in Johannesburg. The collection of his large resin sculptures are “friendly”, as he puts it. You could call them beautiful, even though this adjective is rarely used to describe art as it almost always implies it is devoid of meaning or any conceptual high-art nous. This is by design; Shendi wants people to like his work and maybe by extension him.

Young people don’t respond to hard or unpalatable imagery, he suggests. “I always create objects that everyone will fall in love with. The viewer is the person who will remember me,” he says.

Image: Supplied

At first glance, Shendi’s sculptures read as eye candy. The smooth glossy finish recalls sugar-laden sweets and the colours — bright yellow, red, blue and pink — bring artificial flavours to mind. His visual language is undeniably seductive. It is hard to believe his sculptures are handmade; they appear so perfect. The slick finish suits the minimalist vibe, the economical lines. He reduces human features to essential shapes and lines.

Long Face is a body of man defined by large heavy legs supporting an almost invisible torso from which a hard triangle-shaped head emerges.

In other works, the face is described as a solid oval in a contrasting colour to the body. Children are laconically evoked through small round shapes attached to inchoate beings in Mother of Many.

He has a gift for identifying the essential lines or character of the human body, subjecting it to a form of exaggeration, but not in such a way that it loses authenticity. In another mother-and-child sculpture, Sleepless Nights, the shoulder line of a woman crouched over her child rings truthful despite his stylised, reduced language.

You can’t help wondering whether this slick minimalist language maintains a distance between the artist — his identity and personal strife — and his art, facilitating the “lightness” and “brightness” that masks the harrowing history driving his practice.

“I did not have a pleasant childhood. I was severely beaten as a child. I was beaten ’til I bled,” Shendi says.

“I did not have a good relationship with my mum and I did not know that she was depressed. Her behaviour towards us was really aggressive when we were younger and as I grew older, I tried to find the reason behind it.”

His mother-and-child works, though, present female figures so deeply connected to their offspring that their bodies melt seamlessly into them. His art acts as a vehicle to retrieve what was denied to him.

His sculpture surfaced after a psychological breakdown of sorts in the mid-noughties, when he confronted his emotional baggage. “I am focused on expressing my emotions rather than just trying to create shapes. Once I realised this, the anger in me subsided and the hatred disappeared,” says Shendi.

After graduating from a Cairo University in 1997, he turned away from making art, mostly for financial reasons. He worked in the fashion and interior design industries and tried his hand at cartoon drawing. When he returned to making art, he was dissatisfied with the end product; they seemed to lack the authenticity he strove to achieve. “In 2006, I decided to quit art and I felt really depressed. I did not buy any art books, I stopped going to museums. I was unhappy and created art for no purpose really,” Shendi says.

“I did not know I had depression; I thought it was because I am not famous enough, people didn’t know my name,” he says.

The Giant series, which contrasts with the Mother and Child one at the gallery, reflects his experience of the different stages of depression. The collection is defined by male subjects with large, oversized legs that carry small, armless torsos.

This connects with the brutality and the survivalist streak he developed as a child in Egypt, where he felt victimised by not only his family but also the state.

“You reach a point where you become so strong, nothing can break you. It is important for an artist to divert this emotion to present something unique,” Shendi says. Emotional strength might be a stereotypical burden placed on men, but it can be traced in the Mother and Child collection too, which is also characterised by hard outer shells.

Shendi has participated in several group shows in the UK, staged numerous solo exhibitions, won a British public art award and has been admitted as a member of the Royal British Society of Sculptors. However, he seems to still view himself as an outsider to some degree and rejects the commercial imperative that shapes the contemporary art world.

He refuses to make editions of his sculptures as he doesn’t see any point in remaking something when the original has already satisfied his thoughts and ideas.

“Art is not about money or design, it is a way of living. You cannot make every artist great, but a great artist can come from anywhere,” he says.

Sam Shendi: Mother and Child

The Culture Diary

Egyptian born, Yorkshire-based sculptor Sam Shendi creates joyfully coloured abstractions of the human figure which with the subtlest of indicators, hint at the complexity of human interactions. Shendi’s compositions reference the work of minimalism, focusing on the medium of steel, aluminium and paint.  In this exhibition Shendi analyses the age old subject Mother and Child showing all the emotional antidotes that surround the subject.

Sam Shendi

The Civic, Barnsley

APOLLO, the international Art Magazine

Sam Shendi working on Adult Conversation (2016) Courtesy of Andy Garbutt

Mother and Child

Egyptian born, Yorkshire-based sculptor Sam Shendi creates joyfully coloured abstractions of the human figure which, with the subtlest of indicators, hint at the complexity of human interactions. Shendi’s works references the work of minimalism, focusing on the medium of steel, aluminium and paint. In this exhibition Shendi analyses the age old subject, Mother and Child, showing all the emotional antidotes that surround the subject.

Adult Conversation (2016), Sam Shendi Courtesy of Andy Garbutt
Sam Shendi working on Ripe (2016) Courtesy of Andy Garbutt