A man in a bright yellow suit takes a purposeful but ultimately fruitless journey, walking round in circles on a sand island. Gradually the sea rises to wash over him. He disappears. It is what we fear most. Running out of space, losing time. Having nowhere else to go. Will the land run out? Is it a metaphor for the inevitable futility and pointlessness of a life? What can we do to avoid this fate? Will these be the consequences if we do not face the problems of rising sea water? simonfaithfull.org

Simon Faithfull

Simon Faithfull often places himself in situations of risk and danger, pitting his strength against the elements, especially fire and water. But the risk is essentially a consequence of his curiosity, his desire to discover aspects of the way in which the world is affected by human histories and by human structures, by invention, measure and exploration, both constructive and destructive. His work may involve precisely measured walks, along the Meridien line, on the sea-bed, around the circumference of parallel zones in France and a diametrically opposite island in the Pacific. The effect can be funny, as he scrambles across muddy fields, over people’s garden walls. through their kitchens, along busy roads, in the pursuit of an accurate route. Through such formal artistically devised ways of drawing his path upon the earth, he is also encountering many aspects of human relationships with nature and the environment.


For a recent work ‘Island’ , Faithfull  walked the circumference of a sand island in an intertidal zone, keeping going until the sea engulphed him. Originally called ‘A diminishing walk’ (see image to the left), the work raises the spectre of all our most urgent fears about climate change. simonfaithfull.org