Situated at the intersection of fine art, graphic design, typography, illustration and sculpture, Sam Winston's practice is concerned with words and language, with writing and mark-making, and with looking and seeing. Over the course of his career, he has explored the communicative and performative possibilities of the act of writing, treating text as image and, conversely, considering how the act of drawing can communicate concepts not easily put into words (eagle-eyed readers will remember his Dictionary Story project, featured on Grafik in 2014, and his profile feature back in issue 156). For his latest project, Darkness Visible, Winston has turned his attention towards the creative potential of complete darkness, in order to investigate the impact that a lack of light and sight might have on his thought processes, emotions, and his work itself.
For Darkness Visible, Winston blocked out all light sources within his studio and spent seven days and nights camped out there, living and drawing in total darkness. “The idea of going ‘under’ or without images fascinated me,” he says. “I had read of yogis spending years in complete darkness and psychologists running light deprivation studies but for me the question was — what landscapes are available to the artist when they are only given an internal view for seven days?”