About the artworks

Terra-cotta figures, work in progress by Simon Fell

I make ceramics and draw, creating figures and structures that evoke personal and shared 21st century paradoxes. The work is broadly figurative. Ceramic works occupy an interesting and ambiguous place between art, craft and design, taking on different guises depending on how the work is conceived and how it is shown. This mobility makes the medium even more flexible than the raw material and more open to manipulation and conveying meaning. My work has a strong experimental aspect to it, whatever I plan the work may not conform to my original map, it tends to find its own way with its own physical and visual logic.

My ceramic work looks increasingly at what it means to be male in a diverse and fast evolving culture. In general masculine roles have changed much faster than the recurrent scripts that underlie them. My intention is to highlight the issues that arise from this paradox. I do not tackle gender politics by making propaganda, although it’s tempting to advocate my own opinion, it is more like the principal strand of my worldview, the background scenery that puts my ideas into context.

Karparc, a glazed earthenware installation of up to 300 miniature 'vehicles'

Hand, work in progress, raw terra-cotta paper clay by Simon Fell

Currently I am working on figures and sculptures of hands. I think this is related to the decline of the use of craft or ‘tacit’ skills (bodily know-how) in everyday work. My own work has been divided between working (with my hands and eyes) through keyboard/mouse & screen interfaces to support my livelihood, and making by hand to support my inner artist and well being. Much of my recent work is of (male) figures. This strand in my output is one of the more obvious signs that I use my sculpture, drawing and writing to explore the rich complexity of being a man in the post-feminist era.

I have had a portfolio career in art and design which spans working as a community artist, a freelance illustrator and supporting my artistic practice by working as a web designer.


The Artists Space

Light-trails photoshop composition

The Artists Space is an opportunity for artists to meet another artist (or several artists) and take an overview of the state of their practice in terms of personal meaning, aims and satisfaction and consider how they might progress. These sessions could transform your art practice simply by helping you use the information you already have about yourself and your work more effectively.

Restart blog on a-n

War of the Worlds, a ceramic tableau of terra cotta TV sets illuminated with light bulbs, complete installation is about 1m high by 2 metres wide.

In this blog I look at the process of learning how to engage with ideas, other artists and the wider public through writing. I aim to reveal key points about living with an art practice, logging what that involves and how it affects the balance of my activities. Subjects include: The Creative cycle and how to sustain it; How most artists are part-timers; Being male, gender politics and art; The complexities of working by hand in the modern world; The physical and mental health of artists.

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