Aled Simons

b. 1982, Caerphilly
Lives and works in Swansea, Wales

Aled Simons Dadbusting, 2018
Aled Simons Dadbusting, 2018

The core of Aled Simons practice explores pseudo-scientific ritual, anecdote, humour and memory. He often employs looping or repetition - the ubiquitous gif, meme or zine formats. Early 1990s television and its specific place at the junction of a shift between analogue broadcast and digital on-demand viewing. Joke shop props feature heavily and he operates in the space between the tension release of a laugh and the awkwardness of things that go on too long or fall flat and fail.

He confesses that he scares himself by imagining that all the stuff that is important to him on the internet has been wiped out by a digital apocalypse. His work is an attempt to preserve a sort of skewed legacy of humankind; a mass of debris collected at the shoreline after a catastrophic wave has wiped out most of what we once knew or half-remember. Re-interpreting or misunderstanding the idea of an heirloom - a post-pandemic virtual keepsake.

“Half-forgotten heirlooms and the misremembered. Past, present and future all at once. Performative whims born of pseudoscience, bedroom witchcraft and misinterpreted ritual, an impulse that becomes compulsion - all filtered through a childhood dressing-up box. This is Aled Simons’ practice.

Lost and forgotten photographs recreated from memory. Charged totems. Hundreds and Thousands, joke shop vomit and a homemade Hulk Hogan costume from 1991. Imagine a drumroll that goes on forever, the joke gets old fast, it’s like a fanfare for an event that may never happen, or that is happening over and over and over again.

A dream in which you strip naked in the living room of your grandparent’s council house. You are nude, jumping from armchair to settee, then from settee back to armchair singing Lady in Red by Chris De Burgh or Cliff Richard’s Living Doll - the one with The Young Ones. This is also Aled Simons’ practice.”

Aled graduated from Swansea Metropolitan University. Recent exhibitions include Rat Trap X Takeover, with Inęs Brites, 2020, RUNG at Artlicks Weekend, Dalston and a solo show, The Shipwreck at Mission Gallery Swansea. He won Welsh Artist of the Year in 2011(mixed media category) and group exhibitions include Rat Trap, North Wales Contemporary, Caernarfon, and was selected for the Nova Biennial Arts Prize, 2018. He has recently produced online broadcasts for Glynn Vivian Art Gallery and the Intermission project at g39. Aled works as a studio assistant and lead technician on several projects including Undo Things Done, with Sean Edwards and Starry Messenger with Bedwyr Williams as part of the Venice Biennale. Alongside his practice he is also the lead singer of People And Other Diseases.

The artist was in the following exhibitions:
There Will Be Words
UNITe 2018
RAT TRAP x g39
Intermission 2020
Noson Calan Gaeaf
w/ Aled Simons and friends

g39 Fellowship THREE
Soft split the Stone

Links :
  • Aled Simons, Sulkmania, Artlicks weekend, RUNG 2020
  • Aled Simons, Sulkmania, Made in Roath residency 2019
  • White Safari Tent w/Inęs Brites Rat Trap x g39 - Cardiff 2020
  • Aled Simons Dadbusting, 2018
  • Aled Simons, <i>Joke Shop Vomit</i>, 2018
  • Aled Simons, <i>RUNG, digital Still</i>, 2015