Popular culture is presently abound with the re-visiting of the dark, Gothic, bedtime fairytale, settling down alongside the vampiric clan of teenage-friendly tomes of late. In this aesthetical environment Simon Casson has cast aside as history, his fascination with the Classical World, to warmly embrace the old Somerset dialect and folklore which circle his rural home. "Smeech and Hrain", the title of the exhibition uses the atmospheric sensation of the words translating as smoke and rain.

The apple orchard or artchet, with it's lines of stumpy horror movie trees, hanging heavy with the last diminutive apples of the year, lies cloaked with damp smoldering smeech. Old spent leaves are burnt to signal the end of the season, but never the apple wood as this would be to insight the anger of the preternatural predators amongst the cider barrels. The West Country is a county brimming with myth and legend, much of it concerning agriculture and fertility. Superstition reigns supreme, as fairy rings or gallitraps trace the earth beneath the boughs bearing fruit. Legend tells of other-worldly creatures with their lilliputian fingers troubling country lives, over the multi-layered phantasmal threshold of reality beyond the dimmet or twilight.

Fantastical landscape, combining the English pastural scene with an almost theatrical metaphysical back drop, lies behind the constructed situation of figure and still life

The paintings are each entitled with words torn from the old Somerset dialect, centuries in use, to lay shafts of light onto the players behind the staged scenes. Pale pultritudinous, blanketed in blossoms, surrounded by multi-layered drapery, stare out from the canvas, their identity obscured by paint smirches, smeared with fingers and brushes, allowing them to represent the ideal female, their full chronicles withheld. The pheasant and the deer emerge from the hedgerow, to engage with the viewer in the transcendental play, with paint itself playing a pivotal role - as talismanic as the charismatic dialect, the characters and the landscape.


Simon Casson was born in York, UK in 1965 and was raised in Zambia. He completed his BA in Fine Art at Exeter College of Art and Design with a First Class Honors, then moved on to Central Saint Martins to study for a Postgraduate Diploma in Printmaking. His education was completed with three years studying at the Royal Academy Schools in London, gaining an M.A at the Painting Schools (MFA). He now lives and works in rural Somerset, with his wife Sheridan, their three daughters, a dalmatian and a flock of chickens.
Solo Exhibitions:

• 2013 Simon Casson Vur - Vore Gallerie de Bellefeuille, Montreal, Canada

• 2012 Simon Casson Smeech and Hrain (Catalog: text by Sheridan Casson) Long and Ryle, London. UK

• 2012 Simon Casson Smeech and Hrain Forde Abbey, Somerset, Artist Residence. UK

• 2011 Simon Casson Lupercalia Anne Reed Gallery, Idaho, USA

• 2010 Simon Casson Paintings from the Lupercalia Series Galerie de Bellefeuille, Montreal, Canada

• 2010 Simon Casson New Paintings from the Lupercalia series Gebert Contemporary, Scottsdale, Phoenix, Arizona, USA

• 2009 Simon Casson Between Past and Present - The Thesmophoria Revealed. !! (Catalog: text contributions by Andrew Lambirth, Iain Gale and an edited  interview with the artist by the Directors at Frost and Reed Gallery Frost and Reed Gallery, London

• 2009 Simon Casson New Paintings Frost and Reed Gallery, London

• 2009 Simon Casson New Paintings Bentley Gallery, Scottsdale, Arizona, USA

• 2009 Simon Casson The Great Daedala Contrast Gallery (Pearl Liam Gallery), Shanghai, China

• 2009 Simon Casson Daedala Gallerie de Bellefeuille, Montreal, Canada

• 2009 Simon Casson The Great Daedala (Catalogue : text The Mark of the Delirium and Destiny by Professor Wang Min'an) Contrast Gallery (Pearl Lam Gallery), Beijing, China

• 2009 Simon Casson Catalogue of the Iliad Scott Richards Contemporary Art, San Francisco, USA

• 2009 Simon Casson Catalogue of the Iliad II Bentley Gallery, Scottsdale, Arizona, USA

• 2009 Simon Casson Empusae (Catalogue : text Divining the Mannerist Zeitgeist by Jay Merrick.) Long and Ryle, London

• 2009 Simon Casson Recent Paintings (Catalogue : text A Contemporary Romantic by Doronto Kozinska.) Gallerie de Bellefeuille, Montreal, Canada

• 2009 Simon Casson Xanthus of the West Wind Anne Reed Gallery, Idaho, USA

• 2009 Simon Casson Malefic Deianeira Lisa Kurts Gallery, Memphis, USA

• 2009 Simon Casson Paintings from the Aphrodite's Ceinture Series (Catalogue : text Making Offerings to the Gods by Andrew Lambirth.) Gallerie de Bellefeuille, Montreal, Canada

• 2009 Simon Casson Aphrodite Ceinture Lisa Kurts Gallery, Memphis, USA

• 2009 Simon Casson Paintings from the Aphrodite's Ceinture Series Bentley Projects, Phoenix, USA

• 2009 Simon Casson Epitome. (Catalogue : text A Gloss on the Old Masters by Andrew Lambirth.) Long and Ryle Gallery, London

• 2009 Simon Casson Paintings from the Epitome Series Bentley Gallery, Scottsdale, Arizona

• 2009 Simon Casson The Vengeance of Orestes Long and Ryle Gallery, London

• 2009 Simon Casson New Paintings David Bietzel Gallery, New York, USA

• 2009 Simon Casson New Paintings from the Tantalus series. Bentley Gallery, Scottsdale, Arizona, USA


• 2009 Simon Casson Tantalus (Catalogue : text Introductory text by John Russel-Taylor.) Long and Ryle Gallery, London

• 2009 Simon Casson The Fate Clotho Open Lecture. The Arts Institute, Bournemouth, Dorset, UK

• 2009 Simon Casson New Paintings from the Fate Clotho series Bentley Gallery, Scottsdale, Arizona, USA

• 2009 Simon Casson La ira de Aquiles (Catalogue : text Introductory by Sheridan Mclardy.) AB Gallery, Barcelona, Spain

• 2009 Simon Casson Paintings from the Wrath of Achilles series. Long and Ryle Gallery, London

• 2009 Simon Casson The Beast of Hyria Bruackmamn Galerie, Amsterdam, Netherlands

• 2009 Simon Casson The Eldest of the Fates. (Catalogue : text by Iain Gale with introduction by Sheridan Mclardy) Long and Ryle Gallery, London, UK

• 2009 Simon Casson Recent Paintings and works on Paper. Ainscough Contemporary Art, London,UK



Group Exhibitions:

• 2013 London Art Fair Business Design Centre, represented by Long and Ryle

• 2013 20/21 Royal College of Art, London, represented by Long and Ryle

• 2013 Olympia Contemporary London. Represented by Long and Ryle

• 2012 Art Toronto, International Art Fair Toronto, Canada Represented by Gallerie de Bellefeuille

• 2012 London Art Fair Business Design Centre. Represented by Long and Ryle

• 2012 Olympia Contemporary London. Represented by Long and Ryle

• 2011 Art Toronto, International Art Fair Toronto, Canada .Represented by Gallerie de Bellefeuille

• 2011 London Art Fair, Modern British and Contemporary Art Cont. Business Design Centre. Represented by Long and Ryle

• 2011 Olympia Contemporary London. Represented by Lon and Ryle

• 2011 Art Hampton's, Bridge Hampton Fine Art Fair New York. Represented by Long and Ryle
• 2012-2013 Artist in Residency at Forde Abbey, Somerset

• 1996 Discerning Eye Gallery Award. Mall Galleries, London.

• 1996 True Grain Award. National Print Exhibition

• 1996 John Purcell Paper Award. National Print Exhibition, Mall Galleries

• 1994 Daler Rowney Prize. Out of the Ninties 94. Mall Galleries, London

• 1994 Royal Academy Gold medal. Royal Academy Schools

• 1994 Royal Academy Creswick Prize for Landscape Painting. Royal Academy Schools

• 1994 David Murray Prize for Landscape Painting. Royal Academy Schools

• 1994 John Crompton Craftmanship Prize. Royal Academy Schools

• 1991-1994 Royal Academy Painter-Stainers Scholarship. Royal Academy Schools

• 1991-1994 RTZ Scholarship. Royal Academy Schools

• 1991-1994 Leverhume Scholarship. Royal Academy Schools

• 1991-1994 Worshipful Company of Painter-Stainers Scholarship. Royal Academy Schools

• 1990 Associate Fellow (A.R.E) of the Royal Society of Painter-Printmakers

• 1989 Cecil Collins Memorial Prize for Fine Art Studies. Central St Martins College of Art and Design

• 1987 Cohn Wolf Memorial Prize for Printmaking. Central College of Art

• 1987 Jane Hewitt Memorial Travel Scholarship. Exeter College of Art and Design
• 2013 Simon Casson Vur-Vore Published by Galerie de Bellefeuille

• 2012 Simon Casson Smeech and Hrain Published by Long and Ryle 2012

• 2009 Simon Casson Between Past and Present - Thesmophoria Published by Frost and Reed Fine Art Dealers 2009

• 2007 Simon Casson The Great Daedala Published by Contrast Gallery 2007

• 2006 Simon Casson The Empusae Published by Long and Ryle 2006

• 2006 Simon Casson Empusae Published by Galerie de Bellefeuille

• 2005 Simon Casson Aphrodite's Ceinture Published by Galerie de Bellefeuille

• 2005 Text Making Offerings to the Gods by Andrew Lambirth

• 2003 Simon Casson Epitome Published by Long and Ryle 2003

• 2000 Simon Casson Tantalus Published by Long and Ryle 2000

• 1999 Simon Casson La ira de Aquilles Published by Conei 1999

• 1998 Simon Casson The Eldest of the Fates Published by Long and Ryle Gallery 1998



Selected periodicals (illustrated) / media:

• The Spectator. Exhibition review, Neglected Master page 54 by Andrew Lambirth Somerset Life. Interview Artist in Residence at Forde Abbey Page 30 by Sarah Ford

• The Independent. Exhibition review, Simon Casson uncaged for an orgy of the collectable by Jay Merrick.

• The Spectator. Exhibition review Hidden Treasure by Andrew Lambirth

• Galleries Review Thumbnails by Nicholas Usherwood

• Shanghai Talk. Exhibition review by Ann Brodie

• Lifestyle. Exhibition review of the Great Daedala Exhibition Beijing

• Memphis Commercial Appeal. Exhibition Review Mythology plus Abstraction by Fredric Koeppel.

• WKNO-FM Memphis Radio Interview Lisa Kurts Gallery Exhibition

• The Week. Exhibition Review by Lucinda Bredin

• Royal Academy No 74/Spring issue Review Vengeance of Orestes at Long and Ryle London Greek Tragedy by Andrew Lambirth Pg.74

• ArtBook of the New West USA. Fall/Winter Issue 5 Pg. 42-43. Exhibition review by Glen Linberry at Bentley Gallery

• The Independent. Thursday Arts Review Pg 9. Exhibition Review Mayhem maketh manners by Jay Merrick at Long and Ryle. London

• Tatler July Volume 294 Pg. 36 Interview by Celia Lyttleton Arts Review April Pg 50. Artist Eye

• Kunstwerk March Review at Brauckmann Gallery, Amsterdam. Pg 22-33 by HC de Viegel De draad van het noodlot

• The Week. Exhibition review by Ian Gale Pg 22 December issue