The paintings in Whole and Two Halves came to fruition after completing Yellow Ochre Room, a 52 – metre long wall painting installation at Christchurch Art Gallery in 2015, which remains on view until the end of April this year. The making of these works also coincided with the artist moving his studio from Lyall Bay, Wellington into town. The shift from one working space to another went hand in hand with determining a starting point, reconciling materials at hand and utilising them as integral to the development of new work. Simon describes this process:
“These paintings react to light. The reflective surface both reveals and conceals colour and material. Daylight is synchronised with the viewer’s movement. These paintings are spatial. Like Yellow Ochre Room, there is a division of space in the painting. In Christchurch the gallery was divided into 19 parts with the yellow ochre colour reducing systematically from opaque saturated paint to clear paint revealing the white wall surface. In A Whole and Two Halves, through three simple applications space divides, and colour accumulates. Gravity is an essential part of the process, dispersing pigment over time creating edge and shape. The same system has been used in each work, however shifts in format and colour resolution create experiential readings in time and space”.