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Simon Woolham

Manchester
Simon Woolham is an artist, lecturer (University of Huddersfield) and musician (L.A.S.H.) whose primary practice is expanded drawing. He is based at ROGUE ARTISTS' STUDIOS in Manchester and performs the everyday as his alter-ego 'The Frog'.

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.

 

Battle Royale At The Temple Of Love

The Remains Of The Day

When Worlds Collide

Drawing/Performing The Bath House Galleries

'The Frog'

Felled Tree, I'll Call Your Name

The Repeater

'Portrait Of Your Space' Installation #1

Peripheral Vision

Infiltrators

The Nether Region

'The Frog'

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