Simon Read is an artist who has a great deal of experience across several media. For a great many years he enjoyed considerable success working through a museum and gallery context, developing an expanded interpretation of photography, but has increasingly found that this does not allow the scope to interact with other disciplines and in other arenas.
This has led him to foster projects on a collaborative basis where the outcome might range from a public commission for an architectural site to consultancy, the medium might vary from a complex drawing or sculptural work through to something more discursive lending itself to publication. More recently he has immersed himself in the environmental debate where other kinds of collaboration on an interdisciplinary level are vital.
In 1980, he bought a seagoing barge in Holland and brought it back to Woodbridge in Suffolk to serve as a home and studio base. Since then, travelling on it annually around the East Anglian Coast, he has gained valuable insight into how estuaries and coastal dynamics work. He has ploughed this back into his work, in the first instance by building cameras to record the experience of approaching land from the sea and later to bring first hand experience to an engagement with the development by government of estuarine and shoreline strategies. From experience gained on a range of projects incorporating a level of environmental know how, he has sought ways of pursuing this on a local level working with his immediate community, academically, by proposing interdisciplinary collaborations and as a studio-based artist.
The original decision to be an artist is fundamentally important in determining the pattern of his life; the need to have an affordable living and working environment that is nonetheless stimulating informed his decision to buy a barge, his involvement in Higher Education he regards to be a duty as much as a congenial way of earning a living and more recently the level of engagement with the environment on a community level is informed by instinct as much as by judgement.