Join the Fun, 2021
Image courtesy of Colville Gallery Hobart
Josh Simpson is a Melbourne based artist whose work explores the threshold between fantasy and reality. Filled with visual tropes and clichés his work playfully comments on contemporary experience and his place within it. Simpsons recent work contemplates present-day tourism confronting his own expectations of romanticised location and authentic experience.
Simpson is interested in how artistic practice can bring new understandings to, and provide critical perspectives on, the relationship that the tourist has to the places they visit. Cultural theorist Chris Hennig suggests travel is one of the last remaining activities where myth can be enacted in a meaningful way. He points out the tourist world is both “real and imaginary, dream and action” ordinary and fantasy. In his current work, Simpson explores this through a fantasy Tasmanian holiday played out in elaborate sets from his Melbourne studio. In it, he uses a fictional character, the tourist, to reveal his connection with place as an expat Tasmanian through what he perceives as a shifting Tasmanian identity located in the Tasmanian Gothic.
Simpson holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts with Honours (2012) from the University of Tasmania where he is a current Master of Fine Arts candidate. He has been involved in numerous shows and prizes including the Hound in the Hunt at the Museum of Old and New Art (MONA), the Nillumbik Art Prize for Contemporary Art (2021) and the John Leslie Art Prize (2020). His work is held in collections across Australia.
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