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Sam Treadaway


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Sam Treadaway is a British artist whose interdisciplinary practice includes sculpture, book arts, olfactory scent-based installations and occasionally live events. Often making use of existing frictions between aesthetic form and utilitarian function, he realigns, edits and transforms found materials, objects, structures and systems thus generating new meanings and outcomes. Within his olfactory work he is interested in exploring the transformative potential of scent as a countermove to our predominantly visual- centric world. The interplay between the arts and other fields of knowledge such as science, philosophy, perfumery, and music, often inform and inspire his working processes.

Since 2011 Sam Treadaway has led, curated, and produced the collaborative, multidisciplinary and international arts initiative Revolve:R. Revolve:R is a unique artistic collaboration in which contemporary artists, poets, and musicians, from around the world (to date UK, USA, Africa, and Continental Europe) produce original artworks, poetry, film, soundscapes and music in response to a series of visual artwork prompts. The project to date has resulted in three bookwork publications, most recently Revolve:R, edition three (Arrow Bookworks & Intellect Books, Bristol, UK / Chicago, USA, 2018).

Artwork 286a (A Switch House Moment) by Sam Treadaway.jpg

Artwork 286a (A-Switch-House-Moment) 

Artwork 286a (A-Switch-House-Moment) is a response to the Climate Change Emergency. 

Two photographs juxtapose a natural coastal seascape with an urban cityscape (focussing on Tate Modern’s Switch House during construction).


The aesthetic contrast between the natural and urban environments as well as the positioning of the two images (whereby trees from the coastal scene appear integral to the fabrication of the Switch House) activates a dialogue regarding the capitalist impact of major world cities (such as London) upon our natural environments including de-forestation and rising sea levels.


The work also prompts questions regarding fossil fuel funding within the art world. Until recently Tate annually accepted millions in funding from BP as well as other ‘dirty’ sponsors (such as Deutsche Bank). Interestingly enough the basement of the Switch House once housed the former power station’s huge oil reserves.


Late Capitalism consistently fails 99% of the worlds population whilst destroying our planet yet governments and multinationals continue to seek solutions only within its economic structures. Why do we as global citizens continue to accept this? 

Perhaps because we have long since imagined, yet not yet fully realised, the full potential and transformative power of creative collaboration. Only then can we bring about the kind of systemic Sea-Change so urgently required. 


Artwork 286a (A-Switch-House-Moment) was created as part of the Revolve:R project (@revolve_r_6)

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