Simon Withers is a visual artist, performer and writer; he lives and works in Nottingham. The artist graduated from Sheffield City Polytechnic in 1988 with a BA (Hones) Fine Art degree. For over thirteen years Simon ran Oldknows Studio group and coordinated over 25 studio events. Simon has been a member of Nottingham Studios since 2004 and he is also one half of the Nu-Urban Gardeners.
Simon has participated in over 100 exhibitions including, Northern Stars, A Foundation, Liverpool (2010), Art of Ideas II, Birmingham (2009), Metahang, at Nottingham Castle & Art Gallery (2008), Pricked: Extreme Embroidery, The Museum of Art and Design, New York (2007-2008), Out of Place and Terra Incognita exhibitions, Angel Row Gallery (2007), (dis)comfort, Angel Row Gallery 2005, Box Project (2000) Museum of Installation and the Mostyn international Open exhibition (1998). In 2001 the Artist had a solo exhibition of Multi-Fold paintings at Wrexham Arts Center. In 2000 he successfully received a Year of the Artist award and took up residency in a beach hut on the Lincolnshire East Coast. In 2006 Simon’s proposal ‘The March of Silence’ was shortlisted for the Jerwood/Artangel commissions.
Simon has performed in various music groups as drummer & percussionist. He has on occasions written and contributed to song writing. Simon has performed with the band ‘Greenhouse’ in the 1980′s with David Longdon. In the 1990′s he gigged with the bands, White feather and several improvisational groups, ‘Thick Soil’ and ‘The Wrong Room’. Between 2002/03 Simon recorded/played live with the band ‘Zoo.’ Simon currently plays and performs in the DADA Folk trio, ‘Cyril Seaton’s Cycle Roots’ with accordion player Chris Lewis Jones & VJ Gareth Jordan.
Simon is currently employed at Nottingham Contemporary as a gallery assistant and inspirational Zebra.
My work is broad based; I have a varied oeuvre using clay, tapestry, paint, paper ‘fold outs’ and, decoupages. Much of my practice constantly evolves, through inquisitive processes, experimentation and fusion, fusion affords me possibility in the development of projects. I have produced work that has performative elements contained, such as the production of physically challenging drawings made in response to Velazquez’s Rokeby Venus.
I consider my work to be an investigation of the totality of the human condition essential, delicate, abject and limiting…my work endows few answers’ …is the work is itself the only tangible evidence one needs for one’s proof of existence and that one is living life through experience? This state is made apparent and is at its most essential in my Multi-Fold paintings.
I create work that forms cross-relationships; with ‘proposition’ and ‘hazard’, free will and constraint, it is amid these polls that I anticipate my resourcefulness will ensue. One sphere of possibility is the exploration and the dialogue of the self-legislating ‘I’ and the fusion of imagination and authenticity…that every word spoken, every sign of life one describes, the depth one holds is always concealed…that is a deception: one has to be magnanimous to one’s own deceit. My work is direct, reliable and liberal and, paradoxical. My Art is a construct, through maturity, through innocence and, made achievable through the craft.
I have written previously that my work is seldom at rest; I relentlessly juggle the work…there are common theses to be found. I am in three places at once, the present, the past and, in the future…three of the perfect pair. The numerous aspects of my practice continue to be interwoven and thereafter it is sanguinely comprehended…although a sense of resolution is seldom experienced. The evolution of some aspects of the work bears an agitated relationship with a general painting fine art practice…the Multi-Folds for example are a enduring dissolution with painting.