Simon Kidd is a Northern Irish artist who grew up in Belfast and is now based in Dublin. He studied fine art in Belfast and Bristol before graduating with a Ceramic Design degree from Central Saint Martins in 2018. He spent much of his childhood in the countryside, which is a defining characteristic of his ceramics.
Symbolic of the importance and beauty of Northern Ireland and the Irish lands, as well as its history of violence and lasting legacy, Kidd’s pieces are a physical manifestation of both the geography and character of his country of birth.
Kidd works in porcelain and stoneware, producing vessels that are either hand-thrown or slip cast in limited editions. His slip casting utilises moulds of sculpted plaster before he finishes the final construction by hand. Kidd uses tools and materials from places that are special to him and local to the area he’s highlighting in a particular body of work.
His latest pieces are inspired by glacial erratics – rocks that are carried across the landscape by glaciers and then deposited elsewhere when the glacier melts. They are found in various places across the world, Ireland being just one of them. These rocks are special, from the journeys they’ve taken to the ancient stories they’ve become deeply embedded in. In Irish folklore, they are thought to be stones thrown by giants over to Ail na Míreann in County Westmeath, where the veil between our world and the next is thin.
Kidd instils some of these elusive qualities into his pieces. They have subtle nods to geological characteristics – stratification, erosion, and orogeny, as they embody undulating surfaces embedded and coated with rocks from across our island. Granites, limestones, and basalts are all brought together and melted to create something new, not quite from our world.
Simon Kidd currently works from his studio in Dublin.