An alumna of the Savannah College of Art and Design in Georgia (US) and the Ringling College of Art and Design in Florida, Sam Tudyk now paints from New England. She considers “symbols of communication” (typography, sigils, maps, billboards, handwriting) – an indispensable component of human life – her inspiration. Currently her ideas branch into two bodies of work: Land-Marks and Paper-Marks.
When executing Land-Marks, she loves exploring deteriorating structures of billboards and old drive-in theaters, making the viewer wonder what messages their flat planes, often covered with leaves now due to obsolescence, held in the past. She carefully exposes their geometric structures and compositions. The grids, the wiring they contain. Rusting, breaking. By looking at her Land-Marks, she says she hopes the viewer “to take away a captured moment of time, like a snapshot out a window that you have the chance to study longer.”
When constructing Paper-Marks, Sam enjoys investing concrete handwritten material with an abstract aura. “Through documentation,” she says, “ideas and feelings are given permanence, untouchable by the passage of time and memory’s malleable nature. The layer of abstraction offers privacy, though the obscured language can be decoded in some instances if time is spent studying the work. More importantly, and regardless of any perceived message, these symbols represent a basic need to communicate, document and remember.” By examining these fragments of memories, she hopes the viewer takes away “a sense of mystery and nostalgia.”
While no particular artist has inspired her Land-Marks, her Paper-Marks have been influenced by a volume called The Palmer Method of Business Writing (c. 1894). The Palmer Method of penmanship was a technique of writing developed by a man called Austin Norman Palmer (December 22, 1860 – November 16, 1927). Sam also admires the “the physicality and scale” found in the art of Donald Judd, an American sculptor known for his minimalism.
Sam’s website is www.tudyk.com. You can also check out her page on Saatchi Art (www.saatchiart.com/s.tudyk). Scroll down to view her works that remind us that we are essentially social beings who cannot exist without giving expression to our thoughts. We may succeed and we may fail. Some words of ours may not reach the world due to our indecisiveness and incoherence. Sometimes, they may resonate far and loud but only for a season or an era and then fade away leaving behind decaying relics and remnants.