Aled Simons


Lives and works in Swansea

Bio: I am an artist, designer and musician based in the mildly decrepit seaside town of Swansea, South Wales. I work across all media. My work mostly focuses on re-imaginings, re-construction or re-discovery. I am interested in the idea of recording or preserving that which has been lost, destroyed or wiped out by a make-believe catastrophe; the past, present and future as a singularity; how skewed facts or misremembered information may be passed on and develop; pseudo-science, nonsensical rituals and effects of the seemingly ineffectual.

I make video work often using basic green screen techniques and crude animation. Recently I have been creating poorly constructed, painted cardboard replicas of modern consumerist items inspired by research I have conducted into the Cargo Cult of the South Pacific. The Cargo Cult worship a mythical WWII American soldier named John Frum and create objects such as bamboo aeroplanes and coconut headphones as an attempt to lure or conjure the “cargo” that they covet and believe to be rightfully theirs. 

My performance work takes the form of: 

A chaotic two-piece post-apocalyptic 80s cover band, recreating hits of the era with broken instruments and discarded children’s toys; Johnny Toppins, a persona adopted to explore personal nostalgia and stream of conciseness involving sellotaping hundreds and thousands to my face while wearing a tuxedo and shouting in a faux northern accent. Johnny Toppins claims to hold the secret to curing haemorrhoids and conducts regular meat raffles.