135 artists are taking part in "Inside Job" which takes place on the 7th and 8th of April on Level 6 of Tate Modern. Over the next few weeks The Rebel Magazine will be chatting to some of the Tate staff who are showing their artwork. Today it's the turn of Corey Samuel
Q) Where did you grow up and what kind of education did you receive?
"My family is from East London, I was born in Newham General Hospital, but after a few years moving about we got moved to Enfield and that's where I grew up.
Primary was all fun and games but for secondary I went to Chace Community School and had a very predictable student trajectory. I started off all wide eyed and eager, then got distracted with playing football, trying to impress my mates, then trying to impress girls and ended up getting sent out a lot because of my unruley but pretty funny behaviour (at least I remember it being funny at the time... I think). I was once banned from Art because me and my mate had a fight with the powder paint pots. My school clearly wasn't ready for performanced based conceptual art.
I turned it around by the time I hit my GCSEs and realised that I was only letting myself down so I worked as hard as possible without doing much revision to scrape by with very average grades. After finding no joy in my subjects in 6th form I left and went to Southgate College to study Media Production. That's where I found photography and filmmaking.
I knew I needed to go to university so I worked my socks off at college to get a triple distinction whilst also volunteering in a charity shop in Bethnal green. I worked assisting fashion photographer Seb Winter for a bit and assisted Jason Lloyd-Evans at London Fashion Week Autumn Winter 2012. I was also volunteering at a youth charity helping to edit their videos, I loved making videos that inspired young people so I carried on volunteering whilst studying. After graduating in Film & Broadcast Production at London Metropolitan University I joined the youth charity as staff and took over their media content creation. I created a youth education project about Dr Martin Luther King's Nobel laureateship and created a YouTube channel to share the videos we make. Each year I help Renaissance Foundation take a youth group to attend & report on the Nobel Peace Prize in Oslo Norway."
Q) How long have you been working at the Tate and what's the best show you've seen there?
"I joined a year ago during the David Hockney exhibition which I really enjoyed. I didn't know much about him and that was an amazing way to be introduced to an artist. Seeing their entire careers worth of skill and experience laid out, across different styles and mediums. It made me really appreciate his work.
However my favourite exhibition that I've seen here was Artist and Empire. Seeing the way that other cultures were perceived throughout colonialism as well as learning about the controversial history. It really stuck with me, I still remember walking through that exhibition years later."
Q) What can you tell me about the work you're exhibiting in the Tate Modern show?
"I wanted to address the concept of value, a concept that we are all familiar with but rarely question. We immediately judge value as economic, but we also regard historic, cultural, artistic and even sentimental value of greatest importance. Using sugar and Old banknotes, objects that have little to no economic value to a person in everyday life, I've changed their state to make the viewer question their value through a different lens. The controversial history and cultural impact that sugar has had on Britain is difficult to comprehend but it has fundamentally effected all of our lives. In many aspects it continues to do so today. Yet it's a part of our history that we do not like to come to terms with and often sugarcoat.
This is the first piece of art work I've made outside of my discipline of film & photography. It's also the first exhibition I've taken part in, so I'm really grateful for the opportunity. If anyone wants to buy it, I'll do a good deal for sure. Discount for Tate staff and members!
Q) How can people find out more about your work - do you have a website or do Instagram?
For inspirational videos with positive role models head over to:
Q) What's the best thing about working for the Tate?
"Everyday I come to work I learn about an artist or artwork I've not seen before. It's really inspiring and there's no doubt it's influenced my work. Ive worked in retail for years and I feel really lucky to work here at the Tate. It's genuinely a unique place to work. Pretty sweet staff perks too!"