Simon Blundell

Simon Blundell — Painter

I paint and draw images that are inspired by the totality of my life, my past and my now, this morning, last week, the time I lay on a forest floor; operating a pneumatic drill; a dream of falling down the stairs; a near death experience in the Bavarian Alps; paddling bare foot on the east coast, finding a stone arrowhead glinting in a stream. There is no one theme or way of working and I think that what I do is to participate in a journey of discovery using a sensitivity to materials and an openness with no one destination.
After I finished my degree course, when my children were young and I started teaching art in secondary schools, I was continually called upon to facilitate the visualisation and recording of ideas. I realised this was something that my degree hadn’t enabled me to do. “Can you draw me a horse..?” a request that required me to call upon some inner image of all the horses I had ever seen. I came to realise that the ability to perform this kind of task relies upon a range of skills amongst them the development of a way of ‘active seeing’. The realisation that I couldn’t just summon a memory and draw it or make it concrete somehow seemed also to be connected with confidence. As my job demanded that I was a confident drawer and able to manipulate a range of media I quickly acquired this ability.
My degree had given me time to develop ideas creatively in drawing and painting without arriving at a distinct and recognisable object, figure or scene. In my teaching I continually referred to the importance of play as a fundamental requirement to creativity asking questions like ‘what would happen if…?’ My current work and approach doesn’t make a distinction between what is traditionally known as figurative and abstract and relies on having a confident, open and playful approach.
I believe that my participation in the image making process is about creating meaning that doesn’t necessarily rely on arriving at a direct copy of worldly phenomenon but rather reflects the world through the lense that is peculiar to me.

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