Simon Faithfull

Archive Exhibitions (4 October to 23 November 2014)
For our exhibition in Autumn 2014, artist Simon Faithfull made a new work called REEF, which also formed part of Brighton Photo Biennial 2014.

For REEF Simon sunk a boat at the end of its working life off the coast of Southern England to create a new artificial reef.
The project REEF took an abandoned ship called the Brioney Victoria and used her as a catalyst to generate an ecosystem beneath the waves – an artificial reef. The project reveals a process where an object at the end of its use becomes the seedbed that allows diverse forms of life to flourish. The boat’s journey to the bottom of the sea is full of contradictions – an image of a disaster but one that leads to the creation of new life.

As a maritime nation the idea of the sea is part of our DNA. The sea defines our relations with the world and the freedoms it offers, or the threats it presents, are part of our collective thoughts and dreams. Whilst dealing with these dangers, REEF celebrates our intimate relationship with the sea and the mysterious world beneath the waves.

Watching the sea overwhelm the Brioney Victoria was a strange experience. How can 32 tons of ship slip almost silently through the membrane of the water’s surface and vanish completely from human eyes in a few seconds? This moment reinforced for me how the reflecting, shivering surface of the water is a boundary to another almost unknowable place. Simon Faithfull – 2014

This was a complex and highly collaborative project, which involved the input of many people and organisations and was co-commissioned by Fabrica, Photoworks, Musée des Beaux Arts, Calais and the FRAC Basse Normandie (Caen).

Simon Faithfull and Fabrica sought the expertise and support of a number of companies including Wreck to Reef, Art AV, Field Broadcast, O’Three, Precision Energetics, Dorset County Council, Weber Industries, Ringstead Caravans and Quest Underwater Services.

The exhibition was part of the activity of our European-funded project Time and Place. Changing Landscape is one of the major themes of the project, exploring environmental and social aspects of landscapes. This exhibition sat in that strand of the project.

About The Artist

Simon Faithfull is a contemporary artist whose work has been exhibited extensively around the world. His practice has been described as an attempt to understand and explore the planet as a sculptural object – to test its limits and report back from its extremities. Within his work Faithfull often builds teams of scientists, technicians and transmission experts to help him bring back a personal vision from the ends of the world.

Recent exhibitions include solo shows at ArtConnexion, (Lille, France), the British Film Institute (London), Harris Museum (Preston), Galerie Polaris (Paris), Parker’s Box (New York) and Stills (Edinburgh). Recent group shows include exhibitions at Palais de Tokyo (Paris), Perth Institute of Contemporary Arts (Australia), Haus der Kulturen der Welt (Berlin) and Bienal del Fin del Mundo (Argentina). In 2010 Faithfull’s largest permanent public artwork to date was unveiled at the centre of Liverpool, England.

Faithfull was born in Braziers Park – a utopian commune in Ipsden, Oxfordshire. He studied at Central St Martins and then Reading University. His practice takes a variety of forms – ranging from video, to digital drawing, installation work and writing. Faithfull is also a lecturer at Slade School of Fine Art, UCL, London, an External Examiner at Manchester Metropolitan University.

Arts council england
Brighton and hove city council
Brighton photo biennial
Photoworks uk
Musee des beaux arts calais
Frac normandie à caen
Time and place project
REEF 15c
16sinking onlyring2
04sinking abandonship1b

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