Ron Simmer is a Vancouver-based sculptor, a prolific artist who works primarily with found materials. Organic materials – plant matter, stone and wood – serve as effective media to express concerns about the fragility of our environment. Ron also recycles materials from our consumer culture – skis, snowboards, fire extinguishers, car parts, musical instruments, fishing floats, driftwood and scrap metal – to create fanciful commentary on modern society.
Ron Simmer’s inspiration comes from his working background – fisherman, steel fabricator, construction worker, boat builder, librarian – and his contact with nature through fly fishing, sea kayaking, sailing, skiing and hiking.
An avid beachcomber, Ron has always loved the power and chaos of the sea. He is drawn by the contrast of beauty and harshness of west coast beaches. The flotsam and jetsam of consumer society cast up on the sands provide an abundance of thought-provoking media.
“I am disturbed by the downward spiral of environmental destruction and in my art I illustrate a possible future Anthropocene of hybrid flowers and animals made of twisted metal and shredded plastic. I feel it is the job of the artist to present unpleasant truths on such subjects as global warming and reflect the horrors that the mass media does not mention.
Since my teens I have been involved the metal trades and the most natural medium for me is welding, casting and all aspects of metal fabrication. I love the bright, reflective surfaces achieved through powder coating and automotive paints for a pop art effect, but also use patina and natural oxides in my metal work. However I also enjoy experimenting with optical illusions, and have created a series of infinite electronic mirrors with programmed LED and lasers. My ambition is to make an installation illustrating the dilemma of Schrödinger’s cat.
While I love the challenge of creating public sculpture I often contribute fun art to festivals and events celebrating music, spirituality and community – art for the moment. I strive to create organic and beautiful public art works that celebrate humanity in relation to nature. In the theatre of public art there lies the opportunity to touch people for a meditative instant with expanded consciousness.”