Simon Hitchens graduated in Fine Art from the University of the West of England in 1990 and his work has been exhibited around the world since then. He frequently exhibits in solo and group exhibitions, undertaking private commissions and numerous large scale public commissions. He was elected Fellow of the Royal British Society of Sculptors in 1998, is the winner of the 2003 Millfield School Sculpture Competition and was short listed for the Jerwood Sculpture Prize in 2004. He is the fourth generation of artist in his family.
Rock is the conceptual focus of his work and typically the material backbone within it. Over the years, and in his studio practice, his physical involvement with stone has decreased and he now chooses no longer to carve it but to work with its quarried or natural state. Experimenting with new media in an attempt to explore further his understanding of this ancient material, he makes work that operates on the edge of perception, somewhere between the physical and the metaphysical.
His large-scale public commissions for private companies, public bodies and town councils are always concerned with the specifics of place whilst retaining the integrity of his sculptural voice. Over the years he has built a robust ability to proactively work alongside property developers, planners, project mangers, builders, architects and engineers etc. in order to deliver projects of the highest caliber. They can be seen in locations across England.
He makes minimal, even poetic, sculptures that belie the technical difficulty and drama of their making, typically exploring contrasts of all kinds with an economy of means that has become his trademark.
'My studio practice is centered on an ongoing investigation into the phenomenon of perception and my fascination with the interconnectedness between the human and non-human, as a means of exploring our relationship with impermanence. I am fascinated by rock: historically as a medium to make sculpture, physically as the very earth that supports us and geologically as the almost ageless constant that resonates through time, giving perspective to our lives on this planet.'
'The work questions differences between animate and inanimate, more specifically rock and flesh, mountain and body. In the age of the Anthropogenic, a geologic focus within the work seems pertinent, whether working directly with rock itself or using man made materials such as resin, wax or time based film.'
'Exploring themes such as transience and transcendence the work often takes the form of displaced rock casts that have become almost body-like, zoomorphic reformations that take on living qualities, cave-like voids suggestive of internal and intimate body spaces. Or perhaps a mirrored facsimile of a parted whole, exploring themes of duality and being-ness.'