DAD Guardians: announcing Simon Bill


In December 2020, as part of developing DAD’s organisational structure, DAD appointed 8 Guardians: Helen Lindon, Colin Priest, Alice Bryant, Gabor Stark, Charles Holland, Richard Bundy, Simon Bill & Edda Salander-Jones. Their function is summed up in the term ‘guardian’ and the means is through a non-formalised structure where each, as well as helping steer DAD, can continue working on projects with DAD.

We will be profiling the DAD Guardians through January, February & March 2021:

Dover has been a place of very considerable significance for millenia, and yet the feeling here now is of uncertain identity. Dover seems unloved. For a contemporary artist the discontinuity between that impressive cultural history and its current sense of neglect is underlined by the fact that it is surrounded by other Kentish towns noted for their relationships to culture and to contemporary art; sandwiched between Margate, with its museum and associated development, and Folkestone, with its successful triennial. (And not so far away is, actually, Sandwich – picturesque, but, unlike Dover, culturally fixed.) These things are right for those towns, but Dover isn’t like anywhere else. Working with DAD as an artist, a writer, and in other ways that don’t have names or job descriptions, I look forward to helping Dover realise the future of its own quite distinct relationship to culture, to the rest of this country, and to Europe. Simon Bill

Simon Bill is an artist and writer.

A relative newcomer to Dover, Bill’s walking expeditions and research are the point of departure for his work with DAD. In 2019 he was part of The Explorers, a programme of Sunday walks exploring the remains of the West Wing Battery of Fort Burgoyne ahead of its redevelopment. For the What Next project in 2020, an online exhibition for the DAD website, Bill’s contribution was Lonely Dover, a literary and photographic essay inspired by his discovery of ‘Dover’ on foot.

Simon Bill was educated at Central St. Martins and the Royal College of Art. He has exhibited widely and has been represented by Cabinet Gallery (London), Stuart Shave/Modern Art (London), and Patrick Painter (Los Angeles). In 2014 his first major museum show, titled ‘Lucky Jim’, was at the Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art. In 2011 his novel BRAINS, an account of the misadventures of a dissolute painter as artist in residence at a private neurology clinic, was published by the ‘art writing’ imprint MUTE. In 2016 a much-revised version of the novel was published by Sort of Books under the title Artist in Residence. The book came to the attention of the director of the Gulbenkian Science Institute, Lisbon, and as a result Bill became a fellow of the IGC and was artist in residence there for nine months, 2016-17. In 2018 Bill was the curator and catalogue essay writer for ‘Railway Cultures’, a publication and exhibition reflecting the art collection of the National Railways Museum, York. In July 2020 the TV and film rights for Artist in Residence were acquired by production company Corestar Media ahead of a planned TV adaptation.

Bill lectures regularly on the neuropsychology of Visual Perception. Recent venues have included the Slade, Goldsmiths College, Central St Martins and Canterbury School of Art.