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ARTIST Sean Simons captivates the viewer with vibrant brush stokes and colours that bring an energy to his wildlife paintings in his exhibition at Artisan Gallery on Florida Road.
Born in Nanyuki, Kenya, Simons developed an interest in the arts from a young age. He received formal training at the Natal Technikon, majoring in painting in his third year. For the greater part of his career Simons has immersed himself in the worlds of design, illustration, art direction and photography.
“Art was a way of getting lost in interpreting reality. Art became a personal journey into the mind and an open-ended adventure. It’s always been exciting knowing the outcome is never certain. Nature in all its functional design is often a point of departure for my creativity.”
Specialising in paintings, Simons also experiments with mixed media, wall filler, grouting, wire and rusting bits and pieces he finds when he walks his dogs: “At this point, it’s not for public consumption, just pure entertain-ment. There’s such treasure.”
With his subject matter ranging from figurative and portraits to wildlife, his painting style could be termed as a contemporary impressionistic technique with his favourite mediums being charcoal and graphite and oils: “Using charcoal and graphite is a process of creating marks and destroying them until something unique emerges. The work is a discovery.
“Oils is a more a bonding experience; a personal journey that represents me. It is a slow process of making something look energetic and spontaneous. Mastering this technique, I can focus my energy on achieving harmony with the narrative.”
Regarding his work at Artisan Gallery, he says: “The wildlife was an attempt at exploring the spirit of the animals. The colours and movement hopefully evoke an emotional response to these dynamic creatures. I feel honoured when painting wildlife – it is such a precious commodity, filled with such heart and soul. Mostly I work from photographs I’ve taken on my travels to Hluhluwe National Park and Ndumo Game Reserve.”
As for his creative process, he says his art is a an interpretation of the world around us. “These vary from patterns in the decay to the celebration of nature that we are part of. The creative process becomes an emotional journey.
• Sean Simon’s exhibition runs at the Artisan Contemporary Gallery on Florida Road. Call Ingrid at 031 312 4364.