Interview Simon Wadsted

30 nov 202215 jan 2023

Senior curator Yuvinka Medina (YM) in conversation with grant recipient Simon Wadsted (SW).

YM: You began with photography and film, but went over entirely to painting. What drew you to painting?

SW: Painting gave me more scope where I could choose how much or how little of the camera or other forms of seeing to include. Painting was only limited by the body, how flexible, furious or patient I could be. I don’t read a painting as a moment or a “loop”, but as a hovering presence when it meets its viewer. At its best, a painting is a being in itself, which looks back at its beholder.

YM: In your practice, you explore different ways of seeing through painting – what inspires you?

SW: I am almost entirely driven by intuition, like an animal that just reacts. My sources are whatever is around me, like someone just hit the light switch and the surroundings suddenly appear strange. Scissors cease to be an intimate object, they start emerging from themselves and getting up to things. A bedroom overlooks changes in seasons and seems to react to them.

YM: Your works often portray an encounter between reality and unreality. What is it you want to show?

SW: Viewers often face the situations in the paintings, we exist in them. The walls in the seeing grow thin, and the different worlds bleed into each other and blend. The large, mechanical sculpture in the middle of the park comes to life. Cogwheels rotate, water trickles.

Simon Wadsted. Photo: Christofer Dracke.