"The materials he uses and the spaces he activates with his materials are greatly influenced by the aesthetics of grave sites."
Simon Tatum was born in 1995 in George Town, Grand Cayman. Tatum received his Bachelor of Art degree from the University of Missouri (USA) in May 2017. He has shown a solo exhibition within the University of Missouri titled Discover and Rediscover and he has shown a solo exhibition within the National Gallery of the Cayman Islands titled Looking Back and Thinking Ahead. He has also participated in numerous group exhibitions that include, Open Air Prisons at the LACE Gallery in Los Angeles, California and the Sense of Place exhibition at Spinnerei Halle 18 in Leipzig, Germany. Tatum was honoured in 2016 with an international travel grant from the National Gallery of the Cayman Islands to attend the Caribbean Linked IV residency programme in Oranjestad, Aruba. Tatum is currently working with the National Gallery of the Cayman Islands as a curator’s assistant. He plans to extend his practice by participating in international residency programmes and learning new ways to advance exhibition formats. Tatum wants to work within larger networks of creative people who are active in the Caribbean and Caribbean diaspora.
Tatum's current works are sculptures. They are arrangements of objects and/or images to address his personal interest for memorials and post-death remembrance. The materials he uses and the spaces he activates with his materials are greatly influenced by the aesthetics of grave sites. As a young person growing up in the Cayman Islands, Tatum commonly visits local grave sites and observes how people curate these spaces and how they choose to fabricate memorials for their loved ones. He is interested in the activity that is created around these grave sites in attempt to hold meaning. Tatum is also interested in how materials and designs are practically chosen based on their physical endurance to withstand tropical weather. Many of the artworks he makes apply materials and formats he has seen used in grave sites. Examples of these artworks include his water tanks which hold human-scale, ceramic portrait busts and his print works which hang paper objects across walls and display repeating images of young black boys at sea.