Sam Crow was born in the Far East, and has been gradually travelling West ever since with a sewing needle in one hand and a pen or paint brush in the other, scribbling down the bizarre characters she either meets or imagines, costume ideas and jumbles of words …whilst enjoying and absorbing the rich textures, colours, cultures and faces on display, and developing an insatiable appetite for stories and story telling, and everything creative or magically theatrical along the way.
An enormous love for the theatre / cinema and arts – and a disturbing passion for textiles, puppets, masks and costume eventually took her to Central St Martins to study theatre design, specializing in costume.
Her Curious Creatures can be found living in homes and collections in the U.k and Europe, and now also America, Israel and Chile ….
Her subject matter is heavily influenced by her childhood and her great love of all forms of story telling, especially fairy tales ( both dark and light), but also costume design, fashion photography, steampunkery, old black and white photographs and stop motion animation – and depicts characters from life or imagination that just want to come out to pose! She is happiest when creating things with her hands, listening to music, surrounded by fabrics, ink, paint, clay and their associated smells, mess and potential, and always has a huge smile for creativity and stories and the characters they contain … imaginary or real, on stage, screen, page or pavement. She hopes her work will make you smile too, and inspire you to daydream and imagine the stories surrounding every character on display.
” All of my art dolls are completely handmade and One of a Kind, depicting the characters I have met, seen, dreamt of or imagined – little people with large personalities. Each figure is individually crafted using clay or fabric over a wire or wood armature, with clay heads and handpainted faces all finished with matt varnish for protection. I use a mix of new, vintage and repurposed fabrics and trims and various textile techniques to create their costumes. No moulds were used in their creation and none made of the originals afterwards – making them all one of a kind and unique individuals… much like us larger people.”
Each doll comes with a Certificate of Authenticity (COA) and a book containing their own personal story …
Sam has a wandering gypsy soul that loves to travel, to explore, experience and learn …so she cocoons herself in creativity to still her itchy feet and take the time to exhale…
As a small child she ran off to join the church choir, took dance lessons until her late, late teens and developed a habit of singing ( loudly and badly ) or dancing whenever she was completely alone…she still does this…often! although she’s far too embarrassed to ever admit it. She adores watching other people dancing…lost to the music…in every form of dance…Ballet to street, tap to Futterwaken.
Her first three years of boarding school mainly consisted of planning and carrying out daring escapes to her grandparents home … she was always returned after the weekend with her pet stone.
She blames her love of Lewis Carroll ( …and her weird urge to follow that distorted meandering corridor just a bit further to see where it leads…and open that oddly sized door…curiouser and curiouser…) on the nightmares, sleep walking and hallucinations she endured as a child!
She likes classic bikes…and scooters as a nod to her scooter mechanic grandaddy who was the coolest and always wore oily overalls, a beanie hat and had a crow he fed bacon… her other grandad, another cool man in her life who she adored, made moving sculptures…which inspired her love of making…and kept his prosthetic legs propped up by the bed she slept in, even after he died, which inspired her love of the strange and absurd )...
she also loves the works of………………………………………………….
Tim Burton, Terry Gilliam, Peter Greenaway, Laika, Hermann Hesse, Lewis Carroll, Neil Gaimen, Edward Gorey,Haruki Murakami, Guillermo del toro, Rumi, Boris Vian, Jean-Pierre Jeunet and Marc Caro, Bjork, Terry Pratchett, Luc Besson, Edgar Allen Poe, Christopher Walken ( dance Christopher Dance!), all Johnny Depp’s characters each and every one, Gogol, A.C Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, Heath Robinson, Jules Verne, H.G Wells, Miyazai, Jim Jarmusch, the brothers Grimm, Tom Waits, Egon Schiele, Syd Barrett, Wim Wenders, Emiliana Torrini, Debussy, Michael Nyman, Hans Zimmer, all fairy tale illustrations, street art, stop motion animation, old black and white photographs, Chagall’s floating lovers and dreamers, Rothko’s red, white lilies, green eyes, her vintage typewriter and salad spinners…actually most things that spin! And far too too many more things than I have space to write here…
2013 – Dropping my son Laurence Off at Uni – sob! Very very proud of him as he is starting a degree in English Literature( exciting!!!)…and so so happy I managed to pass along a love of stories and story writing!!! Good luck Laurence!
Colchester institute 1986-88, Art and design BTec national diploma
Chelsea school of art 1988-90, Mural design HND
Central St Martins 1990-1993 Theatre design BA HONS
Mural commission, St Mary’s Hospital, London. 1990
Mural commission, Milbank, London. 1990
Theatre set designs, Seaview players, Brightlingsea. 2000-2005
Designing bags, crafted fabrics and artworks for commissions, craft fairs and Portobello market 1990-2009
Drawing with stitches exhibition, Creative Quarter, Folkestone, Kent, July 2009
Affordable Fine Art, ongoing.
Exhibiting at The Harbour Gallery, Whitstable, Kent, 2010 -2011.
Ink, Paint, Stitch exhibition, Creative Quarter, Folkestone, Kent, August 2011, part of the Folkestone Triannual Fringe exhibitions.
Commission to design logo for new charity – Angel Hands Foundation – August 2011
Ink, Paint, Stitch exhibition, Creative Quarter, Folkestone, Kent, December 2011
Inks exhibiting in France and the Creative Quarter- via Frank Hirschfield – ongoing
Fabrications Exhibition, with Mermaids and Seagulls, Strange Cargo Gallery, Folkestone, Kent July 2012
Creative Quarter joint exhibition with Jereme Crow, Folkestone, Kent, December 2012
Darkness Descends – Autumn Showcase at Cursley and Bond, the Old High St, Folkestone, Kent October – November 2013
Cursley and Bond Gallery, the old high street, Folkestone, Kent, Nov / Dec. 2013 and Jan 2014
Love, love me do, Cursley and Bond Gallery, the Old High St, Folkestone, Kent Feb 2014
Dolls art exhibition, the Old Jaffa Museum of Antiquities, Tel Aviv, Israel march – july 2014
Dolls art 2 exhibition, the Old Jaffa Museum of Antiquities, Tel Aviv, Israel – 2015 -2016
Dolls art 3 exhibition, the Old Jaffa Museum of Antiquities, Tel Aviv, Israel – jan – march 2017