Simon Bartram's Instagram feed gives his many followers a tantalising glimpse of his sketchbooks and personal work, showing his enviable drawing and painting skills as well as capturing the essence of the place where he is from.
Simon was born in Jarrow and brought up in Hebburn, an area of northeast England previously defined by the heavy industries of shipbuilding and mining. He has always filled his sketchbooks with the characters who populated the pubs, football terraces and other places that defined his youth. More recently Simon has revisited this subject matter and painted a series of portraits of these post-industrial men from his imagination which we are delighted to present to you HERE.
These 'sturdy fellas' somewhat stereotypically, find their identities in the clothes they wear, the haircuts they sport and the football team they follow. They live in real and imaginary towns and cities that are intersected by rivers that flow east into the North Sea. Above them, the skies are criss-crossed by the vapour trails of aeroplanes leaving for far flung places. The painted men are rooted in their traditions, stuck from breaking free of their forefathers' past - what does their future hold?
It is Simon's ambition to look beyond their haircuts and hoodies and explore who they really are and how they fit into their changing environment.