Ralph Simpson was born in Hillsborough, New Brunswick. He was employed as a Forest Research Biologist and after retirement he returned to school at NBCCD to study Aboriginal Visual Art. He now works full time as an artist but still spends many hours in the woods exploring the potential of plant and wood fibre to create baskets and sculpture. His chosen media is wood and plant fibre indigenous to New Brunswick. In collecting plant fibre, he uses harvest principles that embrace environmental integrity and sustainability. He works full-time in his Fredericton studio.
Ralph combines a deep respect for traditional weaving techniques with his own innovations and enjoys incorporating a wide variety of materials and techniques into his artistic practice of creating work that focuses on natural form, process, and materiality.
I have an innate interest in the natural world around me, field, forest, and wetland as it inspires my work. I make baskets, vessels, and sculptures which arise from a deep curiosity and emergent understanding of my chosen materials. I combine traditional weaving techniques with various plant fibre to create a contemporary art forms.
I work with an array of locally gathered plant material both woody and herbaceous including wood, bark, roots, grasses, wild flowers, and perennial garden plants. My work varies in form and style but what resonates in all my pieces is the underlying investigation into ways that plant materials can be used to spark interest or insight in the natural world.
I employ harvest principles that embrace environmental integrity and sustainability.