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Simon Swain

Artist

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Projects

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About me

First memory of art is in Infant school in 1978, fighting with an overall before covering the paper with colour. Since then art has influenced, and helped to convey, the way I see the world and been a huge help in making my way through life. When beginning a piece of work, I have a clear idea of what I want to set down on the paper or canvas. How is another matter and as likely as not there will be more than one medium in the same piece of work. Two main inspirational artists - whose work I passionately love - are Turner, who rose from humble beginnings, and Dali, who dealt with difficulties in his life through his art. Two particular favourites are Turner’s ‘The Fighting Temeraire’ (1838), (a powerful work showing the sun rising on a new era as a sailing ship is towed to the breakers by a paddle-steamer tug – Turner’s use of light and colour in the reflected sunset is as beautiful as it is effective) and Dali’s ‘Paranoiac Visage’ (1935) in which a group of African villagers sat in front of their hut becomes a picture of a face when the painting is turned (Dali’s use of light and shade draws the viewer in, both complimenting and helping to create the element of illusion). Often expressed are my beliefs about the multiverse and the civilizations interacting with those on Earth – spiritualism also plays a role, a guide having already formed the subject of a piece. The extraterrestrial is a common theme, sometimes combined with the spiritual as in a painting of a spirit guide, against a background of her home world. My style is contemporary, embracing freedom and exploration. I love the challenge of using new materials, trying new ideas, photography, knit, researching new ideas, sculpture, printmaking and drawing, and have never been frightened of trying the unknown. Exhibitions: o Human Magpies at Gallery 10 o Group Exhibitions at Art Junction Gallery o Reading Arts Week 2013 – 2014 – 2015 I have helped to curate, organize, support and encourage fellow artists with mental health issues to exhibit work. I am involved with the Yellow Suitcase project, helping to come up with ideas for anti-stigma campaigns and setting up exhibitions, and helping to support and look after the mental health of us all. I have designed a range of cards that are sold at various outlets to raise money for arts and mental health projects. I am co-founder of the Art Junction page on social media that helps to share artists’ work, exhibitions, what’s on nationally, and in and around Reading, I love being out in the fresh air – walks in nature and around town are in equal parts healthy and inspirational, the latter coming from both nature and architecture, particularly the history preserved in the upper portions of buildings in the centre of my home town of Reading, or the signs, painted on brickwork, advertising long-gone businesses. The lettering of these signs has been a huge influence. Hugely inspiring is a passionate love of all kinds of music, along with television from the 70’s and 80’s, especially continuity announcements, promos and channel idents. I love nothing more than socializing with friends, eating good food and laughing.

Skills

  • Visual Arts
  • Painting
  • Drawing
  • Printmaking
  • Photography

Education

Currently

Access Art and Design

Reading College, Activate Learning

Sep 2016
  • Reading, United Kingdom