Simon Ogden’s work draws from his long-held interest in European, English and American Modernism and Surrealism. In this he interweaves his allegiance to the Arts and Crafts tradition, and the long-standing debate about the definition and role of the decorative in the fine arts. Combined together, these forces open the door to a varied dialogue which contains figuration of and symbolic references to the landscape and the body as well as the transformation of materials and the extension of functions.
Simon moves across painting, object-making, design, printmaking, photography and drawing. Each of these areas of creative activity reinforces and extends the possibilities of his continuing artistic practice. He is an avid collector of materials and an obsessive viewer of environments, surfaces, histories and forms. Travel has always been a significant trigger to the expansion of his visual world.
For many years Simon was passionately involved in the teaching of the Fine Arts at the University of Canterbury in Christchurch, New Zealand. He has had numerous solo and group shows in both public and private galleries. He has initiated major fundraising projects, and has established and curated many exhibitions with peers, students and ex-students. The SOFA PRINT PROJECT (2004) stands out among these initiatives. The works are held in many private and public collections including the Contemporary Works on Paper Collection at the Victoria & Albert Museum. He has recently contributed to establishing the British School at Rome Wallace New Zealand Residence Award open to early to mid-career New Zealand artists.
In 2016 he established ‘Touched by Fire’, a company dedicated to exploring designing possibilities and obtaining the finest fabrics in collaboration with a team of Italian textile artisans.
Graham Crowley, On Simon Ogden , Linoleum and Proust (2012)
Damien Wilkins, Quite Reflections (2007)