Ralph Simpson is an impressive emerging artist whose extensive body of work stood out in the 2019 award adjudication. Building on a first career as a research biologist and forestry expert, Simpson immersed himself in ancient traditions of basketry from around the world. From these global inspirations, his unique, individual artistic vision has evolved.
His experimentation with a wide range of natural materials result in richly textured sculptural forms that reflect his innovative investigation into the natural world. Simpson is deeply engaged in his creative work and professional career. His work, described by nominator Sara Brinkhurst and curator Vicky Lentz, “elevates an elemental human craft to captivating and thought-provoking art”.