About the Artist
Born 1957- Christchurch, New Zealand
Simon’s first photographs and illustrations were completed whilst still at high school. At the age of 14 he already knew he would become an artist. He picked up his first camera at 14 and began shooting, and soon after began to learn to use an airbrush. Illustrations soon began to be applied to motorcycle tanks.
After high school he studied graphic design and photography at Christchurch Technical Institute (now Christchurch Polytech) in the late 1970’s and was lucky enough to be tutored by photographer Murray Hedwig and printmaker Barry Cleavin. It was here that he developed an interest in the history of photography, and was introduced to the work of photographers such as Ansel Adams (creator of the ‘zone’ system) and Diane Arbus, the American street photographer.
An appreciation of light and tonal ranges has stayed with him all of his working life. Tone and colour are now fundamental considerations in his work.
Simon’s commercial working life began with packaging design, where he learned the fundamentals of offset printing. He then worked in advertising for several years before leaving to start his own graphic design business in 1985. During this time, the computer publishing revolution began, and he became an early pioneer of these new technologies.
Since then, he has mastered all aspects of digital generation: design; typography; pre-press; illustration; and digital photography, to add to the traditional skill set already in place. Most of his working life has been spent self-employed.
In 2006, Simon and his wife Pam left Australia to travel throughout Europe for a period of two years. That turned into six years, three of those years being spent working in London’s fashion industry as Head of Design for TONI&GUY. While in London, Simon became close friends with two fellow artists, Agathe Sorel and Ya’akov Boussidan, and their passion and dedication to their work proved both inspirational and motivating.
While overseas, Simon had two exhibitions: one in London, and a second in Tudela, Spain. Though continuing part-time as a freelance designer and photographer, Simon’s focus has now shifted to the fine art world.
Influences: Barry Cleavin, Murray Hedwig, Ansel Adams, Diane Arbus, Marie Cosindas, Edgar Degas, Goya, Hieronymus Bosch.