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Prof Simon Faithfull
Slade School of Fine Art
University College London
Prof Simon Faithfull profile picture
  • Professor of Fine Art
  • The Slade School of Fine Art
  • Faculty of Arts & Humanities
Simon Faithfull is a contemporary artist whose work has been exhibited extensively around the world. His work has been described as an attempt to understand and explore the planet as a sculptural object - to test its limits and report back from its extremities. Within his work Faithfull often builds teams of scientists, technicians and transmission experts to help him bring back a personal vision from the ends of the world.

Recent projects include 'Going Nowhere 1.5' (a film recording an island that vanishes into the North Sea), 'REEF' (live-video transmitted from a ship as it was deliberately sunk to create an artificial reef), and '0º00 Navigation part II' (a journey tracing the 0º line of longitude across Europe and Africa).

Recent exhibitions include solo-shows at Galerie Polaris (Paris, 2017), Sprinhornhof Kunstverein, (Germany, 2016), Le Musée des Beaux-Arts Calais (France, 2015), ICIA (Bath, UK, 2015), FRAC Basse Normandie (France, 2014), Fabrica (Brighton, UK, 2014), ArtConnexion (Lille, France, 2012), Parkers Box (New York, 2011), The British Film Institute (London, 2009).

Recent group shows include exhibitions at ZK"R, Schloss Biesdorf (Berlin 2017), Asia Culture Centre (Gwanju, South Korea, 2016), Turner Contemporary (Margate, UK 2015), Palais de Tokyo (Paris, 2013), Perth Institute of Contemporary Arts (Australia, 2012), Haus der Kulturen der Welt (Berlin, 2009), Bienal del Fin del Mundo (Argentina, 2009) and the Venice Biennale (2007).

Faithfull was born in Oxfordshire, UK, studied at Central St Martins and then Reading University. 

Research Groups
Research Themes
Research Summary

Simon Faithfull's work uses video, performance, drawing and text to explore and report back from the planet on which he finds himself. Different scales of time and space have become a theme within his investigations - often using his own body as kind of measuring stick, or his own subjective gaze as a recording device.

In 2019, the solo exhibition 'Fathom' at The Exchange, Penzance brought together a series of works that explores our relationship with a mostly liquid planet. Also in 2019 at The Natural History Museum in Berlin, the installation: 'An Arbitrary Taxonomy of Birds' used 120 specimens to create eccentric new taxonomies such as: 'Those who fit on my palm' and the first part of a permanent public-artwork for Cambridge University: 'Erratic #1' was unveiled.  

In 2009 his exhibition at British Film Institute brought together his Escape Vehicle series including the journey of a domestic chair as it travelled to the edge of space beneath a weather balloon. 2011 saw the launch of Limbo his web and social-media based artwork which delivers his drawings live to a world-wide audience.

Past work includes 'Antarctica Dispatches' - daily drawings dispatched live from Antarctica, Fake Moon - an intervention in the night sky of Bristol, 'Liverpool-to-Liverpool' - a permanent public artwork for the city of Liverpool that sets into paving-stone the drawings from a journey by containership from Liverpool to Canada. 

Teaching Summary

Simon Faithfull is a Reader in Fine Art and the BFA Critical Studies Tutor - he works across the Slade School of Fine Art mostly working with BA/BFA and PhD students.

01-JAN-2012 – 19-NOV-2015 External Examiner MA Fine Art Manchester Metropolitan University, United Kingdom
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