Simon Handy(UK)
Participant 2021

Simon Handy is a Gloucestershire born artist with a background in arboriculture and regenerative agriculture. He is concerned with the ridiculing of materialism and its political expression in Neoliberalism, and the construction of positive futures. Always trying to anchor his work in reality, Handy is focused primarily on the manifestation of ideas in the primary spheres: food production, housing, conception of time, energy, etc.

Using humour, beauty, metaphor, or narrative, Handy tries to make relatable, direct, and grounded work which is widely accessible. He is highly sceptical of art and all things esoteric so he is predominantly focused on practical effects that improve lives, either directly or indirectly. In his expanded practice spanning art and agroforestry he aims to understand and produce both physical and spiritual sustenance.

Since graduating from BA Fine Art Painting at Camberwell College of Arts in 2018, Handy has been specialising in traditional rural skills and Agroforestry. Distrusting theory alone, he works as a tree surgeon, low-impact forester, and conservationist to gain first-hand experience of environmental challenges. In 2021 he will begin studying his MSc in Agroforestry and Food Security at Bangor University.

Recently he has been exploring eco-utopias, channelling the can-do attitude of American homesteading Youtubers to teach himself DIY green energy construction. Drawing inspiration from Solarpunk and Bardcore he has been building turbines to generate sustainable energy from forests, with the aim of creating functional panpsychist artworks which directly benefit rural communities.