87 Ridgeway Ave, Southport, Qld 4215 Phone: 07 5532 7170

Simon Roots Artist Statement

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“ROADWORKS” – a selection of artworks based on inspiration from travels near and far.

I’m interested in the themes that help us construct our version of reality and a key aspect of my art practice explores the relationship between the figure and the landscape. When I travel I enjoy collecting traces of my surroundings. These may take the form of physical objects, souvenirs, or photographs and sketches done in situ. There are many ways narratives and ideas can be formed, and these mementos of the landscape become an aide memoir to reference my experiences,

Although paint is my primary medium, I also like to explore subject matter through observational drawing and photography, and respond to the objects and environment through examining the aspects that resonate with me. The accumulation and interpretation of visual images from these various sources provides the inspiration for my artworks.

The figure is frequently an actual or implicit part of my artwork. The association between people and the landscape becomes a metaphor for the psychological relationship we have to particular places and things. We humans permeate the environment and everywhere there are signposts of our influence in the shape of roads, buildings, right down to a subtle footprint. Visible hints or clues are often present even when the figure appears absent. Our existence leaves indelible marks on the landscape.

Maps provide a thematic structure that help describe and make sense of the world. They identify and help us navigate the roads that physically connect point A to point B. The map is not the territory however. The “roadworks” we intermittently find on our travels enable us to look behind the scenes at the underlying structure of our existence. Roadworks are interludes; they provide a breathing space to slow down and contemplate our surroundings. Roadworks are a symbol of the ever changing state of entropic flux that is the nature of the world. We slow down and possess a heightened awareness as we traverse through them. Artworks act similarly as a cultural breathing space, encouraging considered contemplation and individual interpretation. Like a roadmap, an artwork is a construct, available to be interpreted by each viewer.

In Australia we are lucky to have some of the most pristine tracts of the undisturbed natural world. Our built environment also contains many wonderful landmarks, from the Sydney Harbour Bridge to that fabulous little garden path you love so much. The exhibition title “Roadworks” has the connotation of human presence, and there implicitly lies within that a collective responsibility to care and look after our neighbourhood, and the world around us. I hope this exhibition imparts an aspect of that sensibility.


Simon Roots