With a sigh of relief, local artist Simon Dredge is taking a much welcome breather from his recent sojourns around the globe. He seems to have been on the go since the decade began – first off to Spain, where he stayed for 2 years, then over to South Africa and Australia via Japan.
For the last 7 years he has laid down anchor in Southport – “I love the coast and the feel of the fresh sea air. This is a beautiful part of the world.”
Although painting has always been a life-long obsession, trying to fit it into his already busy work schedule was something of a struggle and it was often relegated to the back-burner – “Life tended to take over and the time to focus on it wasn’t there. In 2019 I decided to go for it and pursue my passion.”
Simon is currently combining demands of work and his painting in a more beneficial union: “I’m currently operating as a freelance photographic interior stylist. I work with clients to get the right setting for their products etc. Over the years I’ve painted dozens of effects on walls for clients and this really ignited my desire to paint again.
Never daunted by a challenge he is always keen to get out his paint and brushes: – “I am booked to show my work over in Manchester’s Met Quarter shopping centre for the month of May this year. The walls are massive so I will be painting on the biggest canvases I’ve painted on. Five feet by Four feet and maybe even bigger if I can find the room for them!”
Southport is lucky to get this opportunity to see first-hand, Simon’s latest paintings – “This will be my first solo show and I’m really honoured to have been asked to show especially at SCA. It’s nerve wracking but it’s incredibly exciting.”
About the SCA exhibition he says: “All the work on show will be work I’ve painted over the last 6 months. I’m currently busy painting a couple of new pieces especially for the show.”
Simon loves experimenting with new subjects and media – “My work at the moment is abstract. It’s the brightness of the colours that makes me feel good and I hope the brightness brings a smile to other peoples faces. I want people to see whatever they want to see in my paintings. I love mixed media. I used to paint exclusively in acrylic but now I mix the acrylic with inks and watercolours. It’s an amazing experience to see how the colours vibe with each other. It’s exciting. The experimental nature is incredible.”
It is his unconventional approach that gives Simon’s paintings their attention-grabbing pull – “I want my work to make people see, that although my work is abstract and not terribly traditional, it is still ART. It still has taken time and thought and effort to paint each canvas.” Simon’s paintings will be on show from 3rd – 28th March at SCA/ArtHouse, 65 Eastbank Street (Tues -Fri, 10.00 – 15.00 and Sat 11.00 – 16.00). No stranger to SCA, potter Chris Turrell-Watts will be collaborating with Simon with a special ceramic piece that will complement the paintings.