Ahead of our release of a new collection of spectacular sculptures by Simon Shepherd, we were lucky to ask the newest addition to Art Republic some questions about his thought-provoking art and complex technique.
AR: HOW DID YOU BECOME AN ARTIST? WAS IT SOMETHING YOU WERE ALWAYS PASSIONATE ABOUT?
It happened almost by accident! I had a workshop making jewellery but didn't feel particularly passionate about what I was doing so started to experiment with other materials and ideas. I quickly realised that art gave me the freedom to express myself in a way nothing else could.
AR: WHAT INSPIRES YOU?
Everything and anything I suppose. I love the form and design of things around me, whether that be in nature or in man-made objects. These forms then inspire me to create.
AR: WHAT FIRST DREW YOU TO SCULPTURE AS A MEDIUM?
I've always been drawn to the three-dimensional, particularly things like furniture and car design, so it felt natural for me to work in sculpture when it came to my artwork. I feel most comfortable creating 3D forms and love to use a range of materials.
AR: YOU OFTEN USE EVERYDAY OBJECTS IN YOUR ART, WHAT IS THE STRANGEST THING THAT HAS INSPIRED A PIECE?
I once created a piece of work based on a tortoise shell and a model aeroplane engine! It ended up like something you might see in a SuperMario video game!
AR: DO YOU HAVE A SCULPTURE THAT GETS THE BEST REACTION FROM PEOPLE?
The Michelin Men I have created always invoke a great response from people, I guess it's the human quality of vulnerability they see in him!
AR: HOW LONG DOES EACH ARTWORK TAKE TO MAKE?
That really varies, but my work is often complex and so can take from one to two months. Sometimes a piece gets partially made, then left, so that can take even longer to finally get completed.
AR: HOW DOES HUMOUR PLAY INTO YOUR WORK?
I've thought about this a lot. I don't consciously set out to make my work humorous, but it often ends up that way. I think that sometimes humour is a good way to deliver a serious message and hope I can achieve that.
AR: HOW DOES YOUR FIRST SCULPTURE COMPARE TO THE ART THAT YOU ARE MAKING NOW?
I think my first work was more tentative than the work I make now. As I have developed as an artist, my work has become more confident and ambitious. Having confidence in your work is so important for an artist.
AR: YOUR PIECES ARE OFTEN UNLIKELY COMBINATIONS OF OBJECTS, DO YOU HAVE A FAVOURITE SO FAR?
In terms of work which has that juxtaposition of objects, I suppose 'Divide and Conker' is one of my favourites. It brings together a full-size basketball and a conker shell, the most unlikely of bedfellows but somehow it works really well.
AR: HOW DO YOU SEE YOUR ART DEVELOPING IN THE FUTURE?
I have so many ideas I want to develop, I'm just excited to see what happens!
Curious about Simon’s sculptures? Visit his collection to take a look at his artworks here.