Down Home is an idiosyncratic interpretation of place informed by my observations as an expat Tasmanian. Over the past 10 years I have travelled back and forth from Melbourne and have seen Tasmania rebranded as a cultural tourist destination, often featuring the Gothic as a dominant mode. In Down Home, traditional tourist motifs are seen through a dark and playful filter. Scenic snapshots are punctuated by a toxic green Tasmanian Devil, the skull of cannibal convict Alexander Pearce and the subverted cross of Dark MOFO, subtly shifting the holiday context. Like a souvenir, the works in this exhibition are small, gaudy, and symbolic; a holiday keepsake that explores the merging of tourism, entertainment, and place.
Simpson holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts with Honours (2012) from the University of Tasmania where he is a current Master of Fine Arts candidate. He has been a finalist in a number of Australian prizes including the Nillumbik Art Prize for Contemporary Art (2021), the John Leslie Art Prize (2020), the Bruny Island Art Prize (2016), the Bayside Acquisitive Art Prize (2016), the Agendo Art Prize (2015), and the Lloyd Rees Art Prize (2015). He was the winner of the ROI Art Prize People’s Choice Award (2019) and was highly commended in the Hornsby Art Prize (2014). His work is held in collections across Australia.