Ralph Simpson
Wood Fibre Artist

About

Direct yet conceptual. Provocative and engaging. Design & illustration for brands, publications, and people.

 

I have an innate interest in the natural world around me, field, forest, and wetland which inspires my work. I combine traditional weaving techniques with various plant fibre to create a contemporary art form. My work comprises baskets and sculpture that arise from a deep curiosity and emergent understanding of my chosen materials.

 
 
 
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Ralph Simpson was born in Hillsborough, New Brunswick. He was employed as a Forest Research Biologist for many years.

After retirement he returned to school at NBCCD to study Aboriginal Visual Art. His focus now is artistic and he still spends many hours in the woods as he explores the potential of plant and wood fibre to create baskets and sculpture. His chosen media is black ash, willow, maple, cedar bark, and other plant fibres indigenous to New Brunswick. In collecting plant fibre he uses harvest principles that embrace environmental integrity and sustainability.

 Ralph combines a deep respect for traditional weaving techniques with his own innovations and enjoys incorporating a wide variety of materials and techniques into his artistic practice of creating work that focuses on form, process, and materiality.

Inspired by the local environment and nature’s forms he creates contemporary sculptural forms. He is a full time artist and works out of his studio in Fredericton, NB.

 

 
 
 

I work with an array of locally gathered plant material both woody and herbaceous including cedar, ash, maple, various barks, roots, common rush, cattail, as well as many common annual and perennial garden plants like iris blades, lily and Dracena leaves, and papyrus stalks. My work varies in form and style but what resonates in all my pieces is the underlying investigation into ways that plant materials can be used to spark interest or insight into nature.

 
Acorn Installation 2.jpg
Cedar Wave Basket.jpg
 

My creative focus is on the woven form incorporating local indigenous materials, with harvest principles that embrace environmental integrity and sustainability.