South African, born. 1982, based in Wanaka, New Zealand

Simon is a self-taught visual artist. He lived, studied and worked in Johannesburg, South Africa until 24. After working with his degree in Graphic Design with GRID for 3 years, he went back to his wilder roots in the bushveld at Londolozi. There, he discovered the sculptural calling of land art and went on the road to create his language, eventually finding a base in Cape Town. He then investigated the complexity of plastic pollution as a creative medium and accompanied a research vessel across the South Atlantic. Once back, he realised exhibitions at the National Arts Festival, CT Aquarium, Durban COP17 and in Johannesburg based on plastic marine debris. He Delivered a talk for TEDx on plastic called the Synthetic Sea. He then participated numerous times at the Afrika Burn festival and was based in Simonstown at the original Bronze Age studio for 2 years before initiating an artist residency at Twee Jonge Gezellen Wine Estate in Tulbagh. After winning the Wildlife Artist of the year award in London and becoming an art Ambassador for the David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation, he has continued to sculpt in wood, steel and bronze. He found his life partner, Chelsea Ridl in Glencairn and they then moved to Wellington for 2 years. At 36, they most recently moved to Wanaka, New Zealand. His studio is now a modified shipping container that enables his sculpture making and casting process.

Simon Max Bannister's sculpture is often speared by the ecological crisis, with a knowledge that species and habitats are threatened by man’s insatiable fire. It is mostly in his work process where the poetry reveals itself. From splinters of invasive timber, he constructs indigenous birds, nests and wings. These wooden creations become the kindling for a unique lost cast technique, where the incineration of shape becomes the mould for the final sculpture. These negative spaces are cast with bronze, thereby immortalising the species that have become so significant to him. They are naturalistic yet lean toward abstraction as the figures hover between dissolution and form. An advocate for the preservation of wild spaces, he is an ambassador artist for the David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation. His works are inspired by those of Dylan Lewis, Nic Bladen, Wim Botha, Arne Quinze and Gábor Miklós Szoke.

 

 

2011

Trans-Atlantic‘ 5 Gyres Plastic Research Expedition’ Residency - January

‘Plastikos’  Cape Town 2 Oceans Aquarium - February

‘Reflection Synthetic’ Exhibition Grahamstown National Arts Festival - July

Franschhoek Private Commission - August

'Water, the [Delicate] Thread of Life, Standard Bank Gallery - October

Durban COP17 COPART Climate Train - November

 

2012

Tankwa Karoo “Solace” AfrikaBurn - April

Kranshoek Private Commission - August 

Plettenberg Bay Site_Specific - August

‘Ek-Duo’ Exhibition Cape Town GIPCA  - September

 

2013

Kranshoek Private Commission - January

Tankwa Karoo “Compression” AfrikaBurn - April

London David Shepherd Foundation Wildlife Artist of the Year - May

Waterberg Residency - June

Kruger Park Mjejane Private Commission - July

Johannesburg Art Fair, Journey Series, - July

Kranshoek Private Commission - August

Londolozi Private Commission - September

Port Alfred Residency - October

Cape Town, Mana Bay, Private Commission - November

Nelspruit, Journey Series, Infecting the City - December

 

2014

Lapland Sabbatical - January

Londolozi Residency - February

Franschhoek, Boekenhoutskloof Private Commission - March

Londolozi Residency - April

Tankwa Karoo “The Offering” AfrikaBurn - May

Hermanus Fynarts Festival - June

Simonstown Bronze Age Studio - June

London - Wild Uncovered Collaborative Exhibition - Oct

 

2015

Rajastan, India, Jawai Private Commission - January

Simonstown Bronze Age Studio - February / December

 

2016

Simonstown Bronze Age Studio - January / July

2017

Simonstown Bronze Age Studio -

Tulbagh Twee Jonge Gezellen Studio - Artist in Residence 

Darwinicorn - AfrikaBurn

Art for Survival - DSWF - Christies, London

2018

Totem - Ebony Gallery - Solo Exhibition - Franschhoek

DSWF Art Ambassador

Wanaka, New Zealand

2019

Commissions

DSWF Art Ambassador

Ebony Gallery, 

Artbay Gallery,

Wanaka Fine Art Gallery,

Parnell Gallery,

Remembering Lions, Fundraiser Auction

End of Ivory, Christies LA, Group Show for DSWF

 

 

 

© 2019 SIMON MAX BANNISTER