a gallery presents


Interview with SIMON ATTWOOLL in D SCENE UNEDITED VERSION by Gavin Bertram 14/09/11

SUBHEAD – Simon Attwooll: Ex-Dunedin artist’s show part of White Night gallery crawl


Gavin Bertram


Former Dunedin artist Simon Attwooll had a difficult time when he first moved to Melbourne three years ago.

But the Otago Polytechnic School of Art graduate says he feels more settled now, and has a good balance of working in framing factory and creating art. The fruits of this can be seen in the Not Afraid exhibition at A Gallery.

Attwooll creates the multimedia explosions of colour and image using a combination of paint and screen-printing, drawing, and collage.

“I like working with loaded images but I also like particularly insignificant images and then seeing how they read when put side by side,” he explains. “Unfortunately for anyone who has lived with me I am a hoarder and collect anything. I really like collecting images and objects. I enjoy finding similarities or discordant matches when you put one thing alongside another.”

The artist says he finds beginning with a plain white surface daunting, so he messes it up a little first. From there it’s a matter of adding visual elements and editing them so they work in either harmony or discord.

It’s a complex process with print making at its centre, as layers are built up and diminished so they work together as a whole.

Although there are digital processes involved in creating screens for printing, Attwooll says the hands on techniques he uses are vital to the way his works emerge.

“I think I like using computers as a tool rather than relying on them for a finished piece,” he considers. “I think the process helps me work through the original ideas I had when I started making the work and that informs the end product. It’s thinking about what you are making and being open for it to evolve so then you naturally approach the final outcome.”

Attwooll’s work is clearly a by-product of the highly charged visual world of the 21st Century. But the artist doesn’t have any particular issue with the constant bombardment of the eyes, instead choosing to feed on it through his art.

“I think we are at a really exciting time at the moment,” he reflects. “Almost anyone can have access to what they want to use and that makes it exciting because it opens up a greater collective creative potential. But I think the space where you aren’t doing anything is important too because you have to come up with your own ideas instead of being constantly entertained.”

Along with Not Afraid, Attwooll has been busy working on ideas for big Paper Mache sculptures, and on putting proposals together for exhibitions in 2012.

“You have to do it a year in advance,” he says. “And I have to do my tax and those other boring things you try to avoid for as long as possible.”




Filed under: Art

NOT AFRAID Simon Attwooll Review by James Dignan Printed in the ODT 8/9/11

In “Not afraid”, Simon Attwooll presents a series of bright, energetic pieces on paper. His mixed media works, created from the cultural ephemera of newspaper, magazine, and internet images, are intended, in the artist’s words, to “encourage us to explore our current contemporary psyche through [ … ] the reproduced images it consumes and is consumed by.” While this bold intention may or may not hit its mark, the resulting chaotic melange it creates is certainly both strong and vibrant, and the juxtapositions of images and thoughts within the works does lend them depth. By using what the artist refers to as the “outmoded technology” of painting and screen-printing, he has created pieces which the viewer can explore at will. The mind of the artist is – to use the title of one of the works – finding a mess and making it pretty, or more to the point, making it significant. The addition of black glitter as a reflective material in the works enhances the effect of organised chaos. Its dazzle causes repeated deliberate interruptions to the viewing process and a constant shifting of the light over the works. The result is that the viewer is forced to repeatedly reassess the created images.

Filed under: Art

Simon Attwooll NOT AFRAID 2/9/11 Preview Photographs

Filed under: Art