Simon was born in Auckland in 1955 but spent his early childhood growing up amidst what he describes as the ‘paradise of the Kaikoura coastline’ where his father worked as the editor of the Kaikoura Times. After the family moved to Nelson Simon completed a secondary education at Nelson College which at the time featured a strong visual arts department headed by Irvine Major an influential Nelson landscape painter. It was while living in Nelson that Simon developed an early interest in casting techniques experimenting with a collection of lead head nails ruthlessly scavenged from the city’s weathered roofs.
Simon attended the Canterbury School of Fine Arts graduating in 1978 under the tutelage of Tom Taylor who ran the sculpture department with Martin Mendelsburg, a young American sculptor. The paintings of Don Peebles who also taught at the school remain an ongoing influence on Simon’s work.
After graduating Simon worked at the Court Theatre in Christchurch as a scenic artist and set designer before traveling to England in 1984 and establishing a bronze casting facility in London called Red Bronze Studio. This was reestablished in Oxfordshire in 1993 as Lockbund Sculpture Foundry and Lockbund Gallery.
As well as developing Lockbund Simon has maintained his own sculpture practise and exhibited widely. His sculpture, including commissioned works, is held in private and public collections throughout Europe. He has also maintained strong links with New Zealand and over recent summers has worked at a studio in Nelson to produce several exhibitions the most recent being of his bones held as a pop up event at the studio.
Simon is represented by Orexart in Auckland, Church St Fine Arts in Nelson and Contemporary Sculpture Fulmer and Fold Gallery in London.