Simon Ling launches new season of Visiting Artist Talks on the 11th October 2016

Simon Ling, ‘Untitled’ 2012, oil on canvas. Photo by Marcus Leith. Courtesy of Greengrassi, London


The School of Music and Fine Art is delighted to announce the first event in the Autumn term Visiting Artist Talk series, welcoming painter Simon Ling on Tuesday 11 October at 6.15pm in the Royal Dockyard Church.

Born in 1968, British artist Simon Ling studied at Chelsea College of Art & Design and then at the Slade School of Art in London. His practice in involved in a deep engagement with painting and his subjects can often appear banal street scenes, still lifes, rocks, stones or patches of scrubland – but through a process of sustained and rigorous looking, his works transcend the ordinariness of their initial appearance, taking on a strange and at times unsettling quality.

Looking and seeing are of profound importance in Ling’s work. This might seem an obvious statement with regard to an artist, particularly a painter, but for Ling the operations and effects of perception are of particular centrality. Looking is always an extraordinary act rather than simply a process of passive observation – an active and deliberate thing that not only produces the world, but alters and disrupts it.

Many of Ling’s works are made ‘en-plein air’: painted in the streets around his London studio, in more rural locations in the British countryside, as well as in parks and wasteland. However, he also works in the studio, sometimes from models (which he constructs himself); sometimes from sketches or memory. In this way, his paintings take on a composite quality, accumulating and collapsing together different kinds of experience, perception and time.

Across all of Ling’s paintings we see an intense engagement with objects (in their broadest sense) – their relations, realities, and our mutable experience of them. Each canvas might be read as a kind of ‘event’: between the artist and the world, as it appears in that moment, as well as through the vagueries and distortion of recollection and reverie. Ling’s paintings might be seen to exemplify this unstable, contingent quality of the visible, the withdrawn and flickering thingly-ness of things, the way objects seep and pulse with the mute but exuberant fact of their own materiality.

In 2015, Ling had a solo exhibition at Kunsthalle, Bergen, and London art gallery, greengrassi, as well as taking part in numerous group exhibitions including Tate Britain, Camden Art Centre, and CAPC Bordeaux, France.

The talk is from 6.15pm-7.45pm and FREE to attend.  Future visiting artists include Martin Clark, Erica Scourti, Maria Fusco and Heather Phillipson. 


Venue: Royal Dockyard Church
University of Kent
Historic Dockyard Chatham