About the Artwork

Clay hand sculpture by Simon Fell in the leather hard state

I make ceramics, creating figures and objects that evoke personal and shared current paradoxes. Much of my recent artwork concerns (male) figures. This strand is a sign that I use my sculpture to explore the rich complexity of being male in the era since the spread of feminist ideas and all their consequential changes.

The work is broadly figurative, I use ceramics to depict things that are recognisable equivalents of things that exist in life. I usually build things as if they are vessels, my work almost all is hollow and supported by its external walls so it has a lot in common with pottery.

My work has an experimental aspect, 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. This makes an unpredictable technique even more capricious and ideal in many ways as an art medium as it has an inbuilt tendency to randomise the resulting work. There is a constant struggle that goes on between control and other impulses in both the conception and production of the artwork.

I am now working on sculptures of still lives, figures and hands. This is about our rapidly changing relationship to the use of our hands and craft or ‘tacit’ (bodily know-how) skills in everyday life and work. The skills that I use in handling the material and understanding how it works and may show in the finished item but the work has other content which sometimes cuts across the display of skill.

Terra-cotta figures by Simon Fell on a shelf

The Artists Space image, an abstracted image of connections and cores in watercolour

The Artists Space

The Artists Space is an opportunity for artists to meet with another artist and take an overview of the state of their practice in terms of personal meaning, long term aims, and job 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.

The Restart blog is a previous set of a dozen posts on the A-N (artists newsletter uk) site on fundamental issues facing artists trying to establish and maintain a practice in the uk.

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