As associate Professor of Fine Arts at the University of Canterbury, Simon’s main emphasis is working with post-graduate students – for example curating the recent exhibition at Bath St Gallery, Auckland.
Simon had reasons for creating this series of work with Dilana. He developed an interest in textiles long ago when he was studying painting at the Royal College of Art, with the famous tapestry design department on campus yet off-limits to the painter.
He had been following the work of Dilana for two decades and finally expressed his interest in the process.
It was decided Simon should engage on a series of four pieces. Then followed the process of discussing the details from the original works that could and should be kept, the importance of maintaining the integrity of the works, and the physical possibilities of the Dilana tufting techniques.
When some details were omitted, new elements were incorporated in a bid to enhance the objectivity of the works. Numerous details of the original linoleum design needed to be extended into a new process appropriate to the proposed rug size. For example, the wood-base/border, the chipped flaky textures, the smooth printed surfaces, the oil stains and the blue roses, all required different textured variations and combinations of cut and loop pile, plus many different colour blends.
Simon particularly loves the juxtaposition of textured loop pile versus the rug maker’s take of the paint splotches over the beige surface.