Approved: 07.02.2007

Simon Woolham

Artist, Curator, Gallery educator, Maker, Researcher

Approved: 07.02.2007

My work is concerned primarily with occupied spaces; school playing fields, junked underpasses and the like that often contain text with the tone of dialogue and the personal and collective narrative that unfolds in them. I explore layers of history, drawing out narrative, glimpses of speech. The dilapidated environments come to life in a skint version of enchantment: a tree stump or a broken fence, are filled with the meanings of the events that go on around and about them. At the core of my practice is the collaborative exploration and encouragement of hidden human details, shared histories, stories associated with belonging and the relationship to specific places and spaces; providing a voice to often unheard vistas of history.

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    Biography

    My work is concerned primarily with occupied spaces; school playing fields, junked underpasses and the like that often contain text with the tone of dialogue and the personal and collective narrative that unfolds in them. I explore layers of history, drawing out narrative, glimpses of speech. The dilapidated environments come to life in a skint version of enchantment: a tree stump or a broken fence, are filled with the meanings of the events that go on around and about them. At the core of my practice is the collaborative exploration and encouragement of hidden human details, shared histories, stories associated with belonging and the relationship to specific places and spaces; providing a voice to often unheard vistas of history.

    I explore a variety of processes, specifically around expanded drawing and through the concept of creating a physical, virtual and psychological artistic residency of the mind, mixing live and digital platforms, encouraging narrative associated with a multitude of spaces and times. In my attempts to unearth this unpredictable and fragile process of layers of history, I utilise both traditional and non-traditional processes, biro drawings, sculpture, performance, paper interventions, animation, video, collaborative walking and text. I see the biro drawings as a way of performing layers of narrative in the present, through the act of drawing them out for both myself and for others. This is processed through how hard, how soft, how detailed and how vague I am, a representation of the layered spatial narrative plane. 

    The work is unassuming, quite often made from simple materials and with seemingly modest aspirations. It is their quotidian qualities, however, that charges them with emotion, not that those emotions are easy to identify. It is not that these works are personal or autobiographical that obscures their emotional content, it is the fact that they are irreducibly, irrevocably unsettling. These sites are the scenes of humiliation as well as innocent play, of rejection and failure as well as fantasy and adventure.

    CV & Education

    Education

    2012–2015     Funded Practice-Led PhD, MIRIAD – Manchester Metropolitan University: Pass

    1999–2000     MA Fine Art, Chelsea College of Art: Distinction

    1996–1999     BA Fine Art, Manchester Metropolitan University: 2:1

     

    Websites: www.insearchoftheshortcuts.com & www.darkcorner.co.uk

    PhD Title: Walking and narrative in physical, virtual and psychological space

    Artistic programmerr at PAPER an artist run gallery in Manchester www.paper-gallery.co.uk

     

    Selected Solo exhibitions: 

    2016 - In Search Of The Shortcuts, Art On Paper, BOZAR, Brussels, with PAPER 

    2016 - Cresswell Crags and Wirksworth Festival, Derbyshire

    2016 - TAKING BACK SPACE: The Macc Walks, Barnaby Festival, Macclesfield

    2013 - The Wanderer, 20-21 Visual Arts Centre, Scunthorpe

    2008 - Dark Corner, Margaret Harvey Gallery St Albans

    2008 - The Invader, Chapter, Cardiff

    2008 - The Short Cut, Kings Lynn Arts Centre, Norfolk

    2007 - Our Place, BLOC Space, Sheffield

    2007 - Residency and Solo Show, Museum of Garden History, Lambeth, London

    2007 - The bridge was a good place to throw stuff off........, Leicester City Art Gallery (Offsite), Leicester

    2004 - Hanging Out at the Lamppost, The Lowry, Salford, Manchester

     

    Select Group exhibitions:

    2018 - Truth and Fantasy (curated by Martyn Lucas) Various Venues

    2017 - for space (curated by Simon Woolham) PAPER, Manchester

     

    2015 - Sound & Vision, PAPER, Manchester

    2015 - KÖLNER LISTE Art Fair, PAPER, Cologne

    2015 - We shape our buildings: therefore they shape us, London Art Fair

    2014 - Jonbar Archaeology, NN Contemporary Art, Northampton

    2014 - Unstable Ground, PAPER, Manchester (Curated by Simon Woolham)

    2014 - Soft Estate, Spacex, Exeter                   

    2014 - Soft Estate, The Bluecoat, Liverpool

    2013 - Fine Art Schools Group Show, Kunst Acacedmie, Dresden, Germany

    2011 - In Close Succession, Norwich Arts Centre, Norwich

    2010 - Re:Animate, Oriel Davies Gallery, Newtown, Powys

    2010 - The Great Outdoors, Aspex Gallery, Portsmouth

    2009 - Celebration of Earth Day, The Armory Center for the Arts, Pasadena, USA

    2009 - In Between the Lines, New British Drawing, Trinity Contemporary, London

    2009 - Le Roman du Lievre: Marginalia, MTS Gallery (and Touring), Anchorage, Alaska

    2009 - Project Pigeon, Pictorial, Curated by Alex Lockett and Ian England

    2008 - Inside-Out, Wysing Arts Centre, Bourn, Cambridge

    2008 - The Golden Record, Collective Gallery, Edinburgh

    2008 - Wysing Arts Centre Group Show, Wysing Arts Centre, Bourne, Nr Cambridge

    2006 - Snowdomes, National Glass Centre, Sunderland Intervention

    2009 - TESTCARD Projeckt, Online, Online Residencies

     

    Residencies, Commissions and Projects

    2016 - D-LAB and Junction Arts Co-Commission of The Rural Routes: Walking Out From Home

    2016 - DAR Space/Place Online Residency DAR, Online 

    2016 - The Remote Lab, Fermynwoods Contemporary Art

     

    2015 - The Manchester College, Contemporary Art Practice, Artist in Residence  

    2011 - Interchange Flow , Fermynwoods Contremporary Art, 2 week residency on a narrowboat from Leighton Buzzard to Oundle

    2011 - Print Residency, Hole Editions, Newcastle Upon Tyne

    2009 - Urban Origami, Various Venues, www.urbanorigami.blogspot.com, Various Locations

    2008 - Severed, The Deracinater and The Isle, Animate and RSA Arts and Ecology Commission, www.animateprojects.org/films/by_project/stop_watch 

    2008 - Tatton Park Biennial 08, Tatton Park, Tatton Park, Knutsford, Cheshire 

    2007 - Per Cent for Art Commission/Residency in County Wexford, Ireland, Per Cent for Art, Enniscorthy, Enniscorthy Projects

    2007 - Shreds of Evidence (Museum of Garden History Publication written by Danielle Arnaud and Lisa Le Feurve)

    2006 - Our Place (Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art and Creative Partnerships Publication)

    2006 - BALTIC/Creative Partnerships 'Artist in Residence', BALTIC Center for Contemporary Art, Newcastle Upon Tyne Public commissions