Josh Simpson

Josh Simpson is a Tasmanian visual artist whose practice focuses on painting but also includes, photography and curation. Largely dealing with themes of identity, flux and spectacle, his work concerns social commentary and seeks to capture the conflict between ordinariness and otherness in contemporary society.

Simpson holds a BFA (Honours) with the University of Tasmania. He has been involved in numerous group shows and prizes including: Hound in the Hunt, Museum of Old and New Art (MONA), Young Moderns, Colville Gallery and the Bayside Acquisitive Art Prize. He exhibits regularly in both Hobart and Melbourne.

Out of Sight

-The only true paradise is a paradise that we have lost’ – Marcel Proust

The travel experience promises adventure, growth and authenticity; a journey into the unknown. Yet, in our highly connected global environment, experiences often become the product of spectacle, the mediated image and desire.

Shaped by exotic tropes and clichés Out of Sight presents a dark and seductive paradise that is both arresting and unsettling. The work examines ‘exoticised place’ (often portrayed through social media, tourism and film) teasing the space between authentic and inauthentic, masking and mocking notions of paradise. In the work, tropical motifs are layered and fractured just beyond our grasp; digital auroras emerge from silhouetted skylines; and melancholy figures sit idly, obscured by landscapes and mask-like motifs.

Out of Sight invites contemplation of contemporary experience asking the viewer to examine their own worldly encounters. If we encounter the world, in favour of controlling an image, we create a place that is out of reach and out of sight.

Out of Sight is informed by Simpson’s 2016 artist residencies in Chiang Mai (Thailand) and Flinders Island (Tasmania) where he contemplated his own expectations of romanticised location and authentic experience.