Theo Simpson’s (b. 1986, UK) home of Northern England gained an international reputation for its innovative heavy industries such as steel production and mining in the 19th century. International competition, economic stagnation, and political influence caused a disastrous decline in these industries in the 1970s and 1980s, coinciding with the decline and collapse of substantial local and national industries.
Once a flourishing industrial landscape, Simpson started to investigate and document these post-industrial environments but grew cynical of using photography as a sole communicator. By adopting a more analytical methodology, using workshop manuals, advertisement slogans, and construction materials, a thread of nostalgia runs through his work to pull these languages into the conversation. On the occasion of his Foam 3h exhibition Part and Whole, Theo Simpson will be our guest on 15 March at 7 pm to talk about his work.
© Theo Simpson
Materials, processes and technologies from the past and present are treated by Simpson as a way of opening up different fields of discovery, where new principles and methods of expression can be achieved. He often combines this with archival material he avidly collects, all of which is from different points of time and origins, such as instructional photography found in workshop manuals and reference books, advertisements, colour charts, data sheets and found imagery.
In his work, Theo Simpson is reconsidering and reforming personal and cultural myths, dreams, losses and promises referring to the industrial past of his surroundings.
With special thanks to Webber Gallery, London.
The exhibition Theo Simpson - Part and Whole is made possible with support of the Gieskes-Strijbis Fund, the Van Bijlevelt Foundation and Outset Netherlands.
Foam is supported by the BankGiro Loterij, De Brauw Blackstone Westbroek, Gemeente Amsterdam, Olympus and the VandenEnde Foundation.