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Patrick Simkins

Coventry University (BA 1st Class Hons Fine Art & Illustration, 2008 / 2008)


What is your favourite film of all time?

I'm a diverse film fan... Apocalypto is underestimated. I secretly love The Terminal. Cried watching Seven Pounds!

What music are you currently listening to and why?

In the studio I'm usually listening to music, though more and more I'm listening to i-player crime dramas (is that a sign of age?). Like my films though I'm very diverse depending on my mood - or the mood I want to set. It will range from Hip-Hop to Country!

Which living artists do you most admire and why?

Peter Doig has his life set up perfectly – really fantastic way of applying his paint to make such rich work – and he lives in the Caribbean – what a life! Otherwise I'm a big fan of Daniel Richter, Albert Oehlen, Cecily Brown, Christopher Wool, Katy Moran and Khristine Moran.

Which deceased artist do you most admire and why?

Louis Bourgeois for the work she continued to make into her 90's. Egon Schiele for the amazing work he did before dying at 28.

Which exhibition that you have visited made the greatest impact on you and why?

I'm thinking a lot about the Picasso museum in Barcelona at the moment, particularly the room with various impressions of Velázquez's painting 'Las Menas'.  I'm interested in the many interpretations one can take from a painting, just as in history. Thus my recent work.


What is the question you get asked most frequently about your work and how do you answer it?

1) Do I know what the painting will look like before I start? The answer is no. Although I occassionally make skecthes, I often have no idea how a painting will look in the end. I'll often start something, then paint several images over it until I'm happy. I want the paintings to retain some ambiguity, so this can't really be achieved until the painting is in front of me.

2) What was Oscar Pistorius like?


What / who inspired you to be an artist?

I was very close to not going to an art scholarship meeting when I was 12. My life might have been very different had I not gone along.

Can you tell us about where you make your art and what if any the significance of this location is?

  I work from a studio in Kingston. No real significance, but certainly being in London is very important. I'm very determined on keeping an eye on the art world, so will generally know what's showing in most places throughout the year.

What do you like most about being an artist?

The freedom and the challenge. Though paradoxes exist to these values of course. I love that I am free and in charge of the way I work, though sometimes the freedom to do something isn't available as an artist. The challenge of course brings a lot of ups and downs.

But if everything came so easy, life would be boring – this might be why I like challenging others with the work that I make.

What is your greatest achievement as an artist to date?

To have had a few solo shows already and have reached finals of national competitions is a source of pride for me. It's just a nice indication that my work is appreciated in the art world.

Being named as an official Storyteller for the London Olympic Games. For my work to be chosen to tell the story of the Games makes me immensely proud, and the athletes that I have met and painted is an unbelievable feeling.

The biggest achievement? The fact I'm still doing it full-time.

What are your plans for the coming year?

The performances are going to grow, the paintings are going to take on a life of their own, and the public are going to see something new.

Latest artwork - View all by this artist

  • The Help
  • Repetite
  • Cityboy
  • The Child
  • The Actor
  • The Nash
  • Lovers for a Weekend
  • The Untimely Death of Context
  • Untitled
  • Amy
  • Another World
  • Elders
  • The Athlete
  • Nicola Adams
  • Louis Smith
  • David Rudisha
  • Dwayne Chambers
  • Brownlee Brothers
  • White and Blue
  • Take a Step Back
  • Room With A View

Artist's statement

Primarily a painter, my practice branches out across performance, installation and drawing. In my interactive performances, I encourage public participation.


In general I examine the values that we place on objects, experiences and each other within the context of an increasingly online world. I am particularly interested in how individuals relate to one another, and how we view and document the world around us.

New Paintings: An Untimely Death of Context

History is but one version of a story, we have to keep our minds open to other narratives...

Today, the social networker creates idealistic environments, dresses up reactions as opinions and manipulates information and imagery to project what he wants others to believe. Yet in a world that values immediacy before clarity, how reliable is the information we record?

In documenting today’s online updates and previous historical events, I manipulate the source material by making my own marks to describe the image in question. Here I have become the tweeter, the sharer, and the online blogger desperate to share a story. Yet in my desire for urgency, the original narratives become distorted, crossed and tangled. Each mark I make is now an embodiment of a ‘share’ or a ‘tweet’, or as I like to call it, a physical retweet. All I'm doing is passing information on, while it takes on the form of a Chinese whisper. The paint marks are left as remnants, suggestions of a narrative but no more. Context is lost, and a new story unfolds.

“ No fact, no event and no aspect of history has any fixed meaning or content (...). There is no ultimate historical reality.”

Deborah Lipstadt

The series of paintings and drawings is accompanied by interactive performances, which seek to understand how social media might be a loss to communication and erode its reliability. They encourage a physical presence and engagement and interaction among the spectators; a paradox to the online world of communication. Thrust into the issue at hand, the audience are asked how much information is too much? What will be remembered?

The Heads

The Heads depict conventional and universal representatives of modern society. They are a reflection of the pressure that society heaps on people. The large size of the pieces pays tribute to the subject, acting almost as a shrine. But, by pinning the pieces to the wall, I have accentuated the subject’s transience and impermanence: the representation feels easily disposable, ready to be pulled apart. It is a process that raises questions about our own morality and how we view celebrity. It touches on the theme of human fragility and the hypothesis that greatness is ultimately flawed.

The current trial of athlete Oscar Pistorius, whom the artist met and painted in 2011, is an eery reminder of how someone can go from hero to zero in a matter of days, as well as the role that society plays in advancing both sides of the coin.

Breaking down and reconstructing is integral to the work, as demonstrated by the interactive installation, performed during a six-week residency with Degree Art Gallery, London.

The Cityscapes

The cityscapes aim to represent a world that is close enough to be recognisable, yet removed from the real. It is important that they reach a point where the viewer’s perceptions and instinctive responses take over in order to make full sense of what the eye beholds. They are a reminder that perception will always alter, depending on the viewer.




2016    - Two man show, BBK Oldenburg Gallery, Oldenburg, Germany

2015    - Group show, The Architects Gallery, Teddington (April - July)

            - Group show, Rainbow Merchant, Schwartz Gallery, London

2014    - Group show, Repre, Tugboat Tea Company, BrooklynNew York

            - Group show, Art in Transit, BBK Oldenburg Gallery, Oldenburg, Germany

            - Installation project, House Gallery, Camberwell, London

            Dance and Draw, Performance Installation, Lyric Hammersmith Theatre, London

            - Dance and DrawPerformance Installation, Voila Festival, The Cockpit, London

            Dance and DrawPerformance Installation, Eye Candy Festival, Birmingham

            - Dance and DrawPerformance Installation, Bagus, Arcachon, France

            - Dance and DrawPerformance Installation, The Workshop, Paris, France

2013    - Repre Residency, (Three Heads Interactive Performance) DegreeArt Gallery, London

            - Group show, Repre Art Group, Silvex Studios, Shoreditch, London

2012    - Group show, 20:12 Olympics Show, DegreeArt Gallery, London

            + Solo show, Wimbledon Lawn Tennis 2012, Sportsworld Hospitality Suite

            - Group show, Repre Art Group, The Crypt Gallery, Trafalgar Sq

            - Group show, Art Agency, Esher, Surrey

2011    - Group show, Summer Exhibition, Royal Automobile Club, Epsom, Surrey

            - Group show, Royal Spring Show, Landmark Arts Centre, Teddington, Surrey

2010    - National Open Art Exhibition, Chichester

            + Solo show, Four Communications, Leicester Sq, London

            + Solo show, 9 Langton Street Gallery, Chelsea, London

2009    + Solo show, Drella Gallery, Godalming, Surrey

           - National Open Art Exhibition, Chichester

           - Group show, "Align", Edgar Modern Gallery, Bath,

           - Group show, Islington Arts Summer Salon, London

           - Group show, "An Age of Miracles", Brick Lane gallery, London

2008   - Group show, New Blood 2008, Britannia House, London

           - Group show, "63 Degrees", Coventry University

           - Group show, "New Horizons", RBSA Birmingham



2011/2012 - BT Storyteller for the London Olympic and Paralympic Games

2010    - Finalist at the National Open Art Competition 2010

2009    - Finalist at the National Open Art Competition 2009



Work is in public and private collections throughout the UK. It is also amongst collections in France, Germany, Spain, Italy, Finland and Australia.



2008    - 1st Class Hons degree in BA Fine Art & Illustration, Coventry University

2005    - Foundation Studies Diploma in Fine Art, Wimbledon School of Art

Recently sold artwork

  • Martin Luther
  • Where Shall We Go?
  • The Child
  • My Job - Oscar Pistorius
  • Chris Hoy
  • Mo Farah
  • Reflection of Things to Come - Beth Rodford - Olympic Sculler
  • Girls' Night Out
  • What's Going to Happen?
  • River at Night
  • Thames Cross
  • Home Truths
  • View from London Eye (4)
  • Threadneedle
  • Southwark Jigsaw
  • Bridging the Gap - SOLD
  • Hungerford Bridge
  • Cornhill Roofs - Currently Unavailable
  • Fleet Street - SOLD