Simon Cottrell is an Australian artist based in Canberra. In 1997 he completed a Bachelor of Fine Arts, with Honours in Gold and Silversmithing at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT) . In 2005 he was awarded an RMIT University Scholarship for a Master of Arts by Research. He has been teaching since 2001 and is currently a Lecturer and Researcher at the Australian National University, and has also been invited to teaching workshops, giving seminars and lectures at institutions around the world. Since 1996 he has exhibited extensively in over 120 exhibitions, in Australia, New Zealand, USA, Germany, Japan, The Netherlands, Malaysia, France, Canada, Italy, India, Spain and China.
In 2008 he received an Australia Council New Work Grant for a three month Residency in NYC for personal research into the parallels between the role that the passage of time has in the creation of intuitive structural growth within both musical and tangible form. In 2009 he took part in an artist residency with Atelier Ted Noten, in the ‘Redlight Design Project’ in Amsterdam and in 2010. In 2011 he received an Australia Council New Work Grant; to explore the inter-relationships between computer aided design and manufactured elements on processes on intuitive manual making.
Selected Public Collections
Auteur bijou Collection City of Cagnes-sur-Mer , France.
Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide, Australia.
National Gallery of Victoria (NGV) Melbourne, Australia.
National Gallery Of Australia, Canberra, Australia.
My work is both ‘of’ and ‘about’ the essence of creative process and progression. They are not designed in any formal sense; rather they grow or unfold intuitively within a slowly shifting but constantly evolving set of preset parameters. Each element is made directly in response to relationships between the immediately preceding forms. In some way it is like a loose mapping of the unfolding and generative nature of creative process. In essence my work doesn’t aim to tell a viewer anything, I simply enjoy the act of devising tangible form from insights into intangible phenomena. My primary influences are not visual but I do want to give the wearer and the viewer a personal sensory experience, in a lasting, resonant but quiet manner. When our senses are presented with something that is familiar and yet also ambiguous, our curiosity is triggered and sensory engagement is extended. This is because our ability to be definitive about what we are actually looking at becomes hard to bring to a clear resolve. If these pieces can be perceived as being either one way or another I will usually try to sit on that line. Are they machines or plants, built or organic? …The more you look the more you see.