UCL Anthropocene


Simon Faithfull

Academic position: Reader in Fine Art

Department: Slade School of Fine Art

Email: s.faithfull@ucl.ac.uk

Website: www.simonfaithfull.org


Simon Faithfull’s wide-ranging art practice combines video, digital-drawing, writing and performance. His work has been described as an attempt to understand and explore the planet as a sculptural object - to test its limits and report back from its extremities. Recent projects include a journey across Europe and Africa tracing the Greenwich Meridian and the deliberate sinking of a ship to create an artificial reef. His practice is well known internationally, and his works are represented in many public collections including the Centre Pompidou, France and the Government Art Collection, UK. Recent solo exhibitions include 'Memories From The Future' at Galerie Polaris (Paris) and 'Fathom' at Newlyn Art Gallery & Exchange (UK).

Faithfull was born in Oxfordshire, UK, studied at Central St Martins (London) and then Reading University. He is a Reader in Fine Art at the Slade School of Fine Art, UCL, London and lives in Berlin.



  • The Erratics – Cambridge University (public art commission) 2019: ‘Erratic #1’ is a red sandstone boulder from Jordan that has been transported to Cambridge, UK to be balanced on building within the university. This is the first of a series of boulders from around the planet to be transported to the UK and installed on buildings across the ‘New Museum Site’ of Cambridge University. ‘The Erratics’ is a complex permanent public artwork that will unfold slowly over the next 7 years creating small interventions within deep time. https://www.simonfaithfull.org/works/erratics/


  • REEF – Fabrica, Brighton (Solo-Exhibition) 2014: The film-work REEF came out of the deliberate sinking of a small boat called the Brioney Victoria off the coast of Southwest England. In the performance, five cameras mounted onboard transmitted live to the world via a video stream, as the boat made its final journey to the bottom of the sea. The video-work created from this event uses footage from these 5 cameras and documentation from a number of other vantage points, to tell the story of a process of transformation. The film presents the very beginning of a slow metamorphosis from defunct vessel at the end of its life, to the creation of an artificial reef – a process that will take further hundreds or even thousands of years to complete. https://www.simonfaithfull.org/works/reef-3/ and https://www.fabrica.org.uk/archive-reef


  • Going Nowhere - HD video (silent), 9min, 1995-2016A trilogy of works that now spans 20 years. The latest iteration Going Nowhere  1.5 again shows a figure that seems locked in a Sisyphean quest. A small sand-island in the North Sea is filmed from a drone as the tide gradually eats away at its coast. A tiny figure walks purposely around its edge, spiralling inwards as the waters rise. The island finally becomes dot of dry sand before eventually vanishing beneath the waves. The figure is gone. https://www.simonfaithfull.org/works/going-nowhere1-5/