A serious back injury – and eight weeks off work – was the spark needed for a new wave of creativity from Wellington artist Simon Hurley.
Simon, who began work as The Learning Connexon’s caretaker in May this year, recently shared a collection of art created during his break, alongside other new staff at the School.
“I slipped and fell (very hard) on my tailbone, lucky not to break it, but managed to do a compression fracture to one of my vertebrae, so fairly serious. As a result I couldn’t really leave the house much, and sitting was super uncomfortable, but I could manage standing at a workbench where I created these pieces.”
Simon says that art was his mental, physical and emotional therapy during a difficult time.
“Art was the thing that kept me going mentally, kept me company during long hours at home alone, got me out of bed in the morning to see how that piece I had glued together the day before looked, and kept my mind busy and focused on something other than the pain and discomfort I was in.”
The focus of his art is assemblage sculpture from found objects, many of them everyday objects that have been previously discarded. “I try to see the beauty and value in items that would otherwise end up in landfill, or floating in the sea, and give them a new life by transforming them into something else.”
Simon says sharing the work at TLC Gallery, alongside some other new staff, was a good way to introduce himself to the TLC community.
“It is also a celebration of my being fit and healthy enough to now be back in full time work, and in an environment that reflects what is truly important to me, art and creativity!”
He says the injury was a reminder to him of what is really important to him – the ability to create and express himself. “I promised myself to embrace that more fully in my life going forward, not just during times of crisis.”