Listen to Simone’s interview on radio 4 ‘midweek’


Painting must be real and  honest. It doesn’t need to be earnest but it does need to provoke a visceral response – laughter, outrage or empathy, despair, a sense of mystery or just to be touched by it’s simple beauty.

My work has been formed by many diverse elements – A formal training in a traditional portrait painter’s studio, an encounter with a prisoner on death row in the US, teaching art to refugees, prisoners and hospice patients and the wisdom of Buddhist philosophy. I am inspired by Rembrandt’s self-portraits, the frescoes of Fra Angelico as well as Freida Khalo, Gerhard Richter, Luc Tuymans, Mark Rothko, insider art and much else.

Kafka wrote: ‘Books must be an ice-axe to break the sea frozen in the soul’ and this resonates with me in painting. I have seen the transformative power of art in myself , in those who I’ve taught as well as in those who are impacted by the art they experience.


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