With his work currently hanging in Flinders Lane Gallery alongside other leading emerging artists, Michael Simms’ career has taken a leap since he completed his classical training at Sydney’s Julian Ashton Art School in 2014.
In the last 12 months alone he has won three art prizes; the Cambridge Studio Gallery portrait prize, the Cliftons Sydney Art prize and the Cliftons People’s choice award. He was finalist in seven others including the Black Swan Prize for Portraiture and the Percival Tucker Portrait Prize, has exhibited in two solo exhibitions and has been in a number of group shows.
But his path forward has not always been as clear as it is today and he talks openly about the uncertainty he experienced after leaving university when he struggled to find direction. An unexpected 21st birthday present and advice he received from a life drawing teacher led him to enrol at Julian Ashton Art School where he became ‘addicted’ to drawing and painting and was awarded a scholarship.
In our conversation he also talks about his portraits of Paul Capsis and Thomas Keneally and describes his process and approach to colour and light which feature strongly in his breathtaking portraits and landscapes.
To listen to the podcast episode press ‘play’ above or listen on your podcast app. The works, as well as links to things and people we talk about in the episode, are below.
Current and upcoming events
- ‘Exploration 17’ at Flinders Lane Gallery, Melbourne, 23 May – 17 June 2017
- ‘Medley II’ at Gaffa Gallery, Sydney, 11 – 24 October 2017
- ‘Interfacing’ with Tom Christopherson at Stanley Street Gallery, Sydney, 12 September – 6 October 2018
Links to people and things we talk about on the show
- Michael Simms
- Michael Simms on Instagram
- Tony Johanssen
- Julian Ashton Art School
- Rod Wong
- Cambridge Studio Gallery
- Paul Capsis
- Paul Capsis performing with Conchita Wurst at the Sydney Opera House (YouTube)
- Thomas Keneally
- Anh Do’s ‘Brush with Fame’
- Flinders Lane Gallery
- Rene Magritte
- Nick Stathopoulos
- Lucy West-Sooby
- Marie Mansfield
- Mertim Gokalp
- Kathrin Longhurst
- Video: Michael Simms shows his recent work to Maria Stoljar on the Talking with Painters YouTube channel