Simon Clarke grew up and now lives in the St Ives area of Cornwall, England. This Atlantic environment continues to be a recurring source of influence. After undergraduate and postgraduate degrees he was an Art Fellow at Plymouth University. He then moved to live and work in Kenya.
While a Lecturer in Fine Art, Kenyatta University he began to introduce
photography into his creative practice taking inspiration from the landscape, people and culture. On his return to England, visits to New York and Paris provided new subjects. While fieldwork back in Eastern Africa led to a PhD with photography and digital art informing field methods and practice based outcomes. Subsequent photographic projects have documented other locations and situations around the world, The visual narratives that unfold reflect perspectives on social and cultural realities, which he documents in
either factual or fictional forms. Conceptually he draws his theoretical positions from a variety of sources, which are then underpinned by anthropological as well as contemporary art and design discourses. Over
the last few years he has been working on projects in South Africa,
including a book on South African photography. This has enabled him to meet photographers David Goldblatt, Omar Badsha, Roger Ballen, Pieter Hugo, Jo Ractliffe and Paul Weinberg among others as well as gain access to photographic archives in Johannesburg and Cape Town.
Clarke is the author of commissioned art and design publications and self-published books on his photography and digital projects (surreal explorations into environment, industry, science and the future). He has exhibited and lectured internationally and his work is featured in a number of international publications.