Simon Alexander Cook

Simon Alexander Cook

Location: Australia

Simon is an Parramatta based designer artist establishing a collaborative studio that investigates experimental and ephemeral phenomenon and stimulus in a discourse on contemporary design and culture. Simon’s practice engages with a broad audience desires for greater connection with urban ecology, drawing upon reinterpretation of familiarity through innovation and synthesis of cultural symbolism and diversity. His design process is informed by a passion for social analysis, a robust awareness of archaeology, indigenous specie habitats in suburban ecology and revitalising authenticity in Sydney’s wider west.

Further to design studies at Sydney College of the Arts with BA qualification, Simon trained at Ryde TAFE as Bush Regeneration Supervisor; with extensive practise in Natural Area Restoration; industrial and architectural design works, involving German kitchen systems; and recently adding Ceramics certification from Nepean Art & Design Centre at Western Sydney Institute.

Simon has worked with several leading architects, designed landscape installations, soiree events and habitats investing in community cultural development. He has been exhibited recently at the Gallery of Australian Design Canberra; various group shows at Object (The Rocks), TAP Gallery, Casula Powerhouse; Blacktown, Campbelltown, SA Museum, The Edge; Fringe Furniture Melbourne; and been acquired in private and public collections e.g. WSI TAFE; NT Art Gallery and overseas, including Aust Embassy Germany, (from Talentborse Handwerk, Munich).

Simon is a finalist in the Fishers Ghost Open Award and St George Art Prize 2010, Sculpture On the Greens 2012 & 2011; UWS Sculpture Award 2012 and 2010 where he won the Landcom Peoples Choice. He has editorial published in Monument, Indesign and 2009 IDEA Award shortlist and online media, eg



- In the work “Brahmarina_menorama_#24/7” a giant branched conduit acts to reference both the vascular organic carbohydrate (organic nutrient systems of trees and plants) and the hydrocarbon (non-stop flare burning of fossil fuels of gas and oil) by way of supercharged symbolism of the Jewish Menora with 7 candles and the Sanskrit imagery for Brahma as 7 swans). [Photos Kim Armstrong UWS]

Brahmarina_menorama_24/7 daytime “Brahmarina_menorama_24/7 daytime”

Brahmarina_menorama 24/7 is a branched vascular structure, an invitation to dance with swans, to explore the attraction and repulsion of oil and water.
While furthering design of calligraphic inspired forms this habitat friendly construct infers the two-way movement of both nutrient and pollutant with imagined choreography of water-birds arriving and leaving their ‘marina’.

The ‘menorah’ candlestick symbol is in one sense a metaphoric multi-jet ‘exhaust’ for fossil-fuel with the super-charged consumption of hydro-carbon burning 24/7 instead of original holy olive oil. Yet in another sense the formalist tree structure is an acknowledgement of the source of divine order, truth and mercy fulfilled in Christ rising from the ‘root of Jesse’.

Simultaneous capture and distribution of natural harmony and discordant pressures by the vascular ‘dance of life’ tree can also reference a Sanskrit symbol of Brahman as 7 swans, from the verb root brh, etymologically meaning “that which grows”.

The work in light pipe, reads as the inverse of script marking a page, as a pure 3D tag, a ‘drawing’ or calling card, a pipe-organ like instrument, a holy-relic and pleasure-craft. When installed on water the work is animated by wind, the sedges act to filter and invite bird nesting, and is torch-lit by 7 solar-power headlights. (Common name: ‘Eu de Toilette Darque Swan with Plumbers Quack’)