Simon has been painting landscapes for over 26 years of his painting career, from his days as a student at Goldsmith's College painting the declining industrial landscape of his home in Newcastle, to the last 17 years spent living in and exploring the unique rural landscape of the Outer Hebrides.The Outer Hebrides are a landscape of water and air, open, treeless and crofted, where the land is the product of the interaction of an ancient, traditional, pastoral land use, and a fragile ecology. The weather drives in on the Atlantic winds, visible for tens of miles, over the evanescent colours of the sea, creating a fabulous intensity of chiaroscuro, highlighting the glaciated, muscular forms of the hills and moor. A wealth of rare and endangered animals and plants survive and thrive in an environment that has been seen as marginal for humanity, clinging to exposed rocks and rooting in moving sands.It takes time to look beyond the obvious and understand the depth of this landscape, to interpret its subtle moods and to see the interactions between its different aspects.Simon has spent years painting the moor, abandoning it to paint the sea cliffs, the mountains of Harris, the light, and the snow, and then revisiting each theme again and again, drawing out new characteristics, developing new techniques, moving from abstraction to representation through every shade of imagery, at every scale. The result is a continual construction, destruction, and reconstruction, wrestling with oil, pigment, watercolour, turpentine, wax, sand, to bring the experience of landscape to a surface.
"I like to show when exhibiting work the process of creating work from the landscape, ranging from intimate and rapid studies through to large, developed works. Light and form, my continuing obsession, are the theme running through the work, demonstrating the ongoing struggle to record the subtlety of the instant." "My pictures in this exhibition include images made from a trip to Wester Ross in February and the north Harris hills in December. The majority of the paintings take inspiration from brutal winter conditions that left the hills covered in snow. My apologies for a reminder of winter in late summer but, I do hope you enjoy the Exhibition."
The Strathearn Gallery | 32 West High Street | Crieff | Perthshire | PH7 4DL