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Ascendant: promotional film

Tags: Public Commission, Press
Simon Hitchens   Ascendant

Having gained planning consent over a year ago for my 55m tall sculpture in Northumberland, we have been hard at work building a super strong advisory team and working with fundraising consultants. This short promotional film unashamedly takes a look at the landscape within which the sculpture will sit. How the sculpture responds to this very specific site, how it has been shaped by that landscape and how it will refine the landscape.

Please click HERE to view the film, and for further detailed information about the project, its genesis, aspirations, design and vision.


Gallery representation

Tags: Press
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I am truly delighted to be represented by the very special gallery and art consultancy CLOSE.

Founded by the ever capable Freeny Yianni and supported by her team Sarah Watney and Katherine Perrins, I am excited about journeys together which lie ahead. We are already working on a group show this summer and a solo show this autumn - more details to follow nearer the time.

Freeny and her team have done a superb job at presenting a selection of my work on their website and I would like to invite you there to view some of what we are offering together -

06.57 Bankend 19.16   Simon Hitchens 55

Forthcoming Exhibition

Tags: Press

10th April

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Great to see my forthcoming exhibition Trace, advertised in the Spring issue of the RA Magazine.

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Trace will run from 19 May - 30 June at Kevis House Gallery, Petworth.


Landmark is Mad

Tags: Press

20th February

A few weeks to go until the public inquiry for the planning appeal of Ascendant: The Elizabeth Landmark, and the Times has caught wind of it. Actually rather a balanced article!

Times 2

Meet the Artist

Tags: Press

16th December

Simon Hitchens Portrait

Every now and then I put pen to paper and galvanise my thoughts into words. Being a material smith rather than a word smith, this doesn't happen very often, so I'm always pleased when promoted to sharpen my saw by providing text for an article.

I'm delighted to have had an opportunity to do just this with the Friends of the RWA in their online magazine The Floating Circle.

You can read the full article here.


Elizabeth Landmark Press Articles

Tags: Press, Public Commission

31st August

The news that my design for the Elizabeth Landmark has won the commission, has been kicking up some excitement in the press. Here's a couple for starters...
Please click on the bold link to read.

Simon Hitchens   Elizabeth Landmark press

Artnet news


Newcastle Chronicle

The Chronicle

Major British Landmark Sculpture

Tags: Public Commission, Outdoor Sculpture, Public Space, Press

29th August

I am thrilled to announce that I have won a major public sculpture commission to be sited in the raw beauty of Northumberland. This 55 metre contemporary sculpture celebrates Queen Elizabeth II's service to country and her life-long dedication to The Commonwealth.

Simon Hitchens - Elizabeth Landmark sculpture - car park view

The Elizabeth Landmark will become a new cultural destination on the Ray Estate and in the north of England, benefiting the local community and economy by being a catalyst for regeneration.

Simon Hitchens - Elizabeth Landmark sculpture - zoom

Made from Corten weathering steel, this elevated slice of hillside has been inspired by the rugged and undulating landscape in which it sits. The elegant and robustly engineered aerodynamic form references the rich history of local iron ore and stone mining. Lateral fins which change in pitch and frequency as they rise up the sculpture accentuate the sense of perspective and movement, creating contrasting shadows along its 85 metre length.

Simon Hitchens - Elizabeth Landmark sculpture - Rock Slot

Directly shaped by the topography of the hill, the delicately arched form would completely disappear if placed back into the hill beneath. The carved space left in the hillside below, which has given rise to the positive sculpture above, forms a canyon-like rock slot. To walk this from end to end will be to experience the geology of the local landscape: a walk through Deep Time itself.

Simon Hitchens - Elizabeth landmark sculpture - Concept Sketch

The specific topography of Cold Law hill in Northumberland has directly informed not just the sculpture and the rock slot, but also the circumnavigating system of paths, which allow ever changing perspectives of the sculpture whilst walking around it. Like a reverse giant gnomon of a sundial, the sculpture points directly to the sun at its zenith on Midsummer’s day.

Simon Hitchens studio portrait 2

"To have the opportunity to design a landmark sculpture to be placed in this raw and beautiful landscape is undoubtedly a privilege and a challenge that I wholeheartedly relish. The success of the sculpture will grow from a sensitivity to land and place: born in form, material and presence from the majestic geography that supports it."


Rolling press reports

Tags: Press, Public Sculpture

My commission proposal for a major landmark sculpture in Northumberland, along with the two other shortlistees, is unsurprisingly gaining a fair bit of interest within the press. Here are a few of the articles I've spotted over the past couple of days - please click on the title link in bold:



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The Telegraph


BBC News


Metro News

Plus, a nice mention on page 4 of The Telegraph broadsheet yesterday.


The Elizabeth Landmark

Tags: Press

2nd May

'North East sculpture taller than the Angel of the North planned to honour the Queen' : read the article in the Newcastle Chronicle here

The Chronicle

RWA Academician

Tags: Press, Studio Practice

Monday 11th January

I'm delighted to say that I have been elected an Academician at the RWA.

I was selected on the strength of the four works above, plus supporting documents and images.

Founded in 1844, it is one of the five Royal Academies of Art in the UK.

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