GS Artists (Galerie Simpson Artists) is an artists run gallery. It developed organically, originally an artist run space starting in the studio of artist Jane Simpson in 2014. Originally known as Galerie Simpson, it developed into Galerie Simpson Artists, which is run voluntarily by a group of directors, as a not for profit company.
Showing a wide range of artists, at every stage of every kind of career. With an underlying agenda of empowerment. The objective being breaking down actual and perceived barriers of the art world. Originally from Swansea, Jane spent 27 years based in London within the international art world. Enthused by the high standard, energy and freshness of the art scene in Wales, the move back home came easily.
In 2015, an intern scheme with Swansea School of Art was established, working with lecturer Craig Wood. This gives exhibition opportunities and constant mentoring, in exchange for help running the gallery. It’s less of a scheme and more like more an association or resource that has no time limit. 5 of the interns now form the backbone of directors of GS Artists.
We also offer professional artists support with our Artist At Work Scheme. An open ended residency, with “no strings attached’, it acknowledges the difficulty for professional artists to experiment on a larger scale. Craig Wood, Rose Davies, Cecile Johnson Soliz, Joan Jones, Owen Griffiths and Tim Davies have used the gallery as a studio to create new works.
The gallery focuses on longer term relationships to offer a real and really helpful set up, where young artists can put down roots and use the gallery as a resource for artistic development. GS Artists are a central part of the development headed by Coastal Housing which has created an ‘Urban Village’ to breathe life the High Street.
Our program has evolved to suit our audience. Primarily focusing on creating unexpectedly high quality exhibitions, we are hugely passionate about our locality, in a recognised area of deprivation. Working with numerous partners we have focused on events via our 9to90 Creative Community initiative to reach those audiences that wouldn’t normally go into a gallery, via such opportunities as Open Submission Exhibitions, and Yoga for All classes.
GS Artists Founder Jane Simpson
Probably best known for sculptures made from rubber, ice and refrigeration units, GS Artists founder Jane Simpson was educated in Swansea, later graduating from the Chelsea School of Art in 1988, followed by an M.A. from the Royal Academy of Art in 1993. In 1994 she was included in the seminal exhibition, “Some Went Mad, Some Ran Away,” curated by Damien Hirst, at the Serpentine Gallery, London. Simpson’s work was also part of the controversial “Sensation” exhibition of 1997.
Her artworks work have been exhibited internationally in London, Madrid, Stockholm, Edinburgh, Berlin, Seoul, Caracas, and New York. Simpson’s work is part of many public and private collections including the Tate Collection, Saatchi Collection, Arts Council of England, Damien Hirst’s Murderme Collection, Contemporary Art Society (London), British Council Collection and the Colección Ciudad de Pamplona.
After twenty-seven years based in London, Simpson returned back home to Swansea in 2013. Enthused by the high standard, energy and freshness of the art scene in Wales, the move back home came easily. She has continued to create work, and also works intensively with other artists, as a print publisher, making artworks with some of the world’s leading artists including Rachel Whiteread, Gavin Turk, Sir Peter Blake, John Stezaker, Alex Katz, and Harland Miller.
On her return home, her studio on the High Street organically developed into an artists-run gallery, officially opening its doors in July 2014 with solo shows by Peter Blake and Gavin Turk. The aim soon became to exhibit a wide range of artists, as well as opening its doors to the local community. Originally know as Galerie Simpson, GS Artists is now a not for profit company, showing a wide range of artists, at every stage of every kind of career, with an underlying agenda of empowerment. The objective being breaking down actual and perceived barriers of the art world- with the twenty-seven years Jane spent within the international art world as reference.
GS Artists Directors and Interns
Abigail Fraser is a twenty-year-old Welsh artist, currently studying a Bachelor’s Degree in Fine Art at UWTSD Swansea. Fraser’s artwork is an unreliable, dreamy, psychedelic exploration of memories appertaining to previous events. Her mixed media sculptures and installations evoke a response to light on the senses, projecting a sense of self and an inquisition of reality. Frasers’ work often contains simple LED drawings of universal forms, exploring how the energy of light permanently surrounds us all in a very personal manner. Endeavoring to harness this energy and penetrate our mass consciousness through her artwork, Fraser portrays a seemingly infinite space within the gallery interpreting the inherent attraction to light and being human. In September of 2019 Fraser will be working as artist in residence at The University of Rio Grande, Ohio.
Alina Skorohoda, thirty-five, is a conceptual mixed media artist. Born in Latvia, she moved to Great Britain in 2011. She graduated with honors in Fine Art this year from the University of Wales Trinity Saint David Swansea College of Art. Alina creates artwork exploring the notion of woman’s duty to the world. She responds to the feelings of obligation that haunt women everywhere. The artist attempts to evoke the feeling of heaviness that visually represents the burden of carrying the stereotype. Alina highlights the true nature of the domestic mental load. Through playful exaggeration and absurdity she questions attitudes, fears and unwritten rules which have formed a hostile environment and woman’s behaviour within it.
Anja is a conceptual mixed media artist from Latvia. She holds a first class honours degree from Swansea College of Art (University of Wales Trinity Saint David) – Anja will complete her Research Masters degree in Art & Design there this summer – and was a recipient of the Brian Ross Award from the Arts Council for Wales. In her work she explores themes of dignity and human agency, and the obstacles on the journey to a fulfilling life. The artist’s visual practice reflects upon the dominant culture from the perspective of marginalised members of society. She looks at choices people make, and the reasons behind them. The artist investigates the effects of the semiotic authority that underlies the symbols and stories of a dominant culture. In her visual practice, Stenina echoes the more commonplace manifestations of semiotic authority such as mundane behavioural protocols, societal norms and stereotypes. In her work Stenina playfully portrays the effects of the everyday mythologised body of ‘reality’ that arguably manifests itself in situations of symbolic abuse. Stenina’s artworks provide an environment for reflection upon the mundane ritualised objectification found within stereotypical acts.
Claire is an artist, researcher and environmentalist from the valleys of South Wales. She gained an undergraduate degree in Fine Art from Swansea College of Art in 2017 and is currently approaching the completion of a Research masters whilst working as a director for GS Artists. She recently returned from a 5-week placement at the Venice Biennale as part of the invigilator team for Sean Edwards’ exhibition UNDO THINGS DONE. Claire’s work currently focuses on gender, space and the naturalisation of that which is not natural.
Demian Johnston’s work explores the senses through installations, paint and other forms of media that represents his personal turmoil and internal monologue. Johnston’s work process is based on what he considers to be an introspective process influenced by psychoanalysis and confusion of the world. His work aims to provoke questioning of the hidden mind and currently, he is developing his practice based on an unconscious world associating different elements and involving the un-associated, dark and boring to create discourse and gain some logic on the world. This work also allows the viewer to ask their own internal questions and possible answers. His practice is looking to develop internal mindscape involving multiple symbols and thoughts to bridge the physical process and mental or spiritual state, and between individual and collective consciousness.
Working as a fine artist in digital art, film, installation and mixed media. Uncompromising works confront the viewer, encouraging a physical, sensitive, or conceptual experience of each. Radical artistic engagement is the mission statement. Embracing pre-conceptual mind-language art. I reveal what I conceal, I conceal what I reveal…
At 60, celebrating a lifetime of artistic and creative adventure, including careers in music and writing, and latterly in the Third Sector, I am currently a (very) mature student at Swansea College of Art where, having completed my Fine Art B.A., I am next pursuing my M.Arts.
Born in Guinea Bissau, Melissa moved to Portugal at 10 years of age and to Wales at 28 years of age. Migration being part of her personal experience, it is a passion of hers to research it.
Rodrigues’ work uses a variety of materials to explore issues of displacement, belonging, and cultural identity, addressing issues concerning the movement of people across the world:
immigration, and the rhetoric of otherness are the bases from which Rodrigues’ work has been blossoming, exploring the influential factors in the construction of a cultural being.
Lately Rodrigues’ work has a new element added to it, recognising textiles as a piece that plays an important role in collective identity, resting on researching the routes these pieces of cloth take throughout history, their importance in our understanding of self as members of social groups, and the misconceptions about them.
Rodrigues proposes a destruction of labels, symbols, preconceptions and
expectations we place in “others”, based in ours understanding of “them”.
Instead: try to find similarities.
Scott Mackenzie is an artist based in Swansea, who graduated from Swansea college of Art in 2016 with a degree in Fine Art. His work is primarily concerned with issues of inequality and identity politics in the U.K. Using a range of mixed media from photography to sculpture and text that incorporates symbols and motifs that playfully construct a sense of ‘who we are’ and where we may be going.
Rwy’n 22 oed ac yn dod o Gastell-nedd. Rwy’n un gyfarwyddwyr GS Artists ac wedi bod yn rhan o’r sefydliad er 2016. Rwyf wedi cael profiadau gwych trwy’r oriel. Graddiais â Gradd Dosbarth Cyntaf mewn Celfyddyd Gain o Goleg Celf Abertawe y llynedd.
Mae’r ffigwr dynol wedi fy hudo erioed, ac o ganlyniad, mae wedi parhau’n ganolbwynt yn fy ngwaith celf. Yn y gorffennol, rwyf wedi canolbwyntio ar y ffigwr gwrywaidd, gan fy mod yn teimlo y gallwn gysylltu â’r ffigwr hwnnw’n fwy, a mynegi fy hunan yn llawnach trwyddo.
Fodd bynnag, mae fy sylw wedi troi yn ddiweddar at y ffigwr benywaidd, yn rhannol mewn ymateb i’r modd y mae menywod yn cael eu portreadu a’u trin yn ein cymdeithas, ac er mwyn mynegi syniadau am drafodaeth, atgof a theimlad. Rwyf am ddal profiad a phresenoldeb person, yn hytrach na’i olwg allanol. Rwy’n gweithio gydag amrywiaeth o gyfryngau ac arwynebau gan gynnwys paent olew, siarcol a chlai.
I’m 22 years old and come from Neath, South Wales. I am one of the directors at GS Artists and have been part of the organisation since I have had excellent experiences through the gallery. I graduated with a First Class Honours Degree in Fine Art from Swansea College of Art last year.
The human figure has always captivated me, and as such it has remained the central focus of my artwork. In the past, I have concentrated on the male figure, as I felt I could relate to and express myself through it more fully. However, my attention has recently turned to the female figure, in part as a response to the way women are portrayed and treated within our current climate, and to express ideas about conversation, memory and feeling. I’m interested in capturing the presence and experience of a person, rather than their appearance. I work with a variety of mediums and surfaces including oil paint, charcoal and clay.