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.


Published by

Conceived as a two-year project, ‘a gallery’ opened in February 2011 at 393 Princes Street, Dunedin and closed in September 2012. Strategically placed south of the center of town nestled between tattoo studios, sex shops and a needle exchange. What was integral in the selection of the gallery space was that it would be able to be viewed from the street through the street level floor to ceiling windows. This would allow the artists showing to be exposed not only to viewers visiting the gallery, but also those walking past, as a gallery was to represent artists that did not fit within the commercial gallery context or the so called experimental project space’s, this would be the best way to expose a particular group of artists selected by gallery curator/manager Jay Hutchinson, artists he respected and admired and felt were not being represented in the gallery scene at the time.

Leave a comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: