Tom Glover in conversation with Samiir Saunders
You can own art from fantastic artists such as Samiir Saunders. Fresh from a solo exhibition at Artefact cafe in Stirchley, his meticulously produced pictures of text and drawing, and printing and repeating are both dizzying and intriguing. His exhibition at Artefact was a whole piece that unfolded over a set of works, the evidence of which is available on Eazyl. The excess ink from the printer form disparate shapes on paper, the repeated flowing drawn lines are layered on top of one another, warped over and over again; these works ripple on the page, distorted and mixed with words from WhatsApp messages and Samiir’s favourite books on art history. His work engages with the everyday and the enlightened, a recognition that much of our lives are communicated through WhatsApp and texts, without losing touch with his artistic influence. Saunders negotiates how an artist can and should operate in the modern world.
His off-inks are particularly exciting. They are random, original, chance occurrences, produced essentially by accident and never to be repeated. They are mono screenprints, only one is available, each a variation on the one before, and each a product of Samiir’s more complex works. They are meant to be viewed as a collection, and each work feels like a piece of a wider jigsaw. The complexity of his more expensive art is built through colour, text, and code, creating a feast for eyes. There is no dip in quality or excitement across his practice.
There is a sincerity to Samiir’s work, harbouring a desire to bring the artists in his native Erdington together for a community with no artistic institution. Through collectives such as ‘ArtForum’, he is staging workshops and events in the evenings to encourage his local people to engage with the arts. Creating things to do in the evening is undervalued, having a motive as night falls is essential to young people, and as a result crime will fall if people have somewhere to go and something to do in their local area. People respond to art from their place, from people like themselves, with shared experiences and fears, and appreciation for the local area will increase.
You can find his work on Eazyl.co.uk.
Eazyl is an online art gallery and an invaluable platform for any art lover, artist or otherwise. Whatever your price range, wherever you are, you can buy commission free art from emerging artists across the country. It is a fantastic way to own art, support creatives, and brighten your daily life through adding some substance to your walls. Owning art is not just be reserved for the moneyed few, and websites like Eazyl are universalising art. It is for everyone.
Samiir Saunders – @smaiduskhan