An Exhibition and Artist Residence

Fabricating Rhythms: Ralph Simpson

Visit the George Fry Gallery from August 18 to September 14 to discover the work of NBCCD alumnus Ralph Simpson. He will also be participating in an artist residency on location from August 19 to September 14. Check back here for more information about an upcoming artist talk and workshop hosted by Simpson.

Artist Statement

Foraged. Sustainable. Leaving no trace. Ralph Simpson’s artistic practice speaks to a keen awareness of environmental consciousness. The materials he collects are woven into sculptural objects mimicking forms in nature but are often made larger than life to capture the viewer’s attention and bring a keen awareness to the world around us. Ralph Simpson fabricates rhythms, following elements of design found in nature – line, texture, colour, shape and form. 

Raised in the fields, forests, and wetlands along the Petitcodiac River in New Brunswick, Simpson developed a keen interest in plants. He studied botany and the natural sciences earning a bachelor of science degree from Dalhousie University and furthering his knowledge at the University of New Brunswick with a masters of science degree. This led to a career in forest research biology which further deepened his curiosity and led to an emergent understanding of chosen plant materials. That, coupled with a diploma of fine craft from the New Brunswick College of Craft and Design, and attending many professional workshops led to his current practice.

“The local flora informs my work and my creative process. My designs arise from my interpretations of nature and have evolved from traditional basketry – to vessels, and botanical sculptures which are often scaled up to magnify detail. My process results in an illustration of my connection with plants in their natural habitat,” said Simpson. 

“I work with an array of plant materials; wood, bark, roots, rush, grasses, and wildflowers and although my work varies in form and style what resonates in all my pieces is an underlying investigation into ways that plant materials can be used to spark interest and bring insight into the natural world.” 

Simpson ensures he employs harvest principles that embrace environmental integrity and sustainability. 

“My personal motivation, what I stand for is a love of nature and reciprocal need to promote environmental conservation,” said Simpson.  

“I recognize a connection between humanity and the environment, and I try to give voice to the simple, complex, vulnerable, strength of nature.”