Cryptosphere - Mapping Paradise

Simeon Nelson


An installation of new work from the first Artist's Residency at the
Royal Geographical Society with the Institute of British Geographers

4 April to 9 May 2008

Monday - Friday, 10am - 5pm

RGS (with IBG) Exhibition Pavilion
Exhibition Road, London SW7 2AR

Curated by Jordan Kaplan


Into the Cryptosphere with Simeon Nelson by Rebecca Geldard

Workshop (under construction)

Cryptosphere catalogue

Catalogue (click here to purchase)


Developed and curated by Jordan Kaplan, Cryptosphere is the first artist residency to be held by the Royal Geographical Society, with the Institute of British Geographers.

Working in consultation with Parabola, Vandana Patel and Steve Brace at the RGS, artist Simeon Nelson is investigating the Society's substantial map collection and entering into discussions with RGS Fellows, staff, and leading British academics involved in various geography-related disciplines.

Nelson is interested in what he describes as the Cryptosphere, which he perceives as, 'the sum of all withheld and hidden information in a given system'. He is developing mapping methods that take into account psychological as well as physical states, working in two dimensions, bas-relief and sculpture. Physical works that address his research are to be realised and exhibited in the spring of 2008 at the RGS gallery on Exhibition Road, London.

The residency also involves the participation of Year 5 pupils and teachers at Gayhurst Community School, Hackney, East London. Nelson and Parabola are holding workshops with pupils, encouraging them to consider issues of the built environment, the natural world and diaspora communities. Pupils and teachers will be able to access RGS maps and information in school and during a field trip to the Kensington Gore site.

A full-colour publication documenting the Residency is planned by Parabola. Including information about Nelson's period with the RGS and Gayhurst Primary School, interviews with participants, as well as archival resources, the publication will contain two commissioned texts exploring themes developed during the residency.

Finally, an externally updateable and dedicated website linking involved organisations, the artist and Parabola is currently under construction. This evolving resource will consider the artist, the host institution, works built specifically for the internet and the potential for other work to be represented, linking to other sites and resources, greatly expanding the potential audience for the scheme.

The RGS (with IBG) is the Learned Society and professional body for geography and geographers. Established in 1830 to promote 'the advancement of geographical science', the Society is a dynamic world centre for geographical learning; supporting research, education, expeditions and fieldwork, as well as promoting public engagement and informed enjoyment of our world.

Simeon Nelson grew up in Australia, and has been resident in the UK since 2001. He works primarily as a sculptor and has shown in Kobe, Kyoto, London, New Delhi, New York, New Zealand, Tasmania, Taiwan, Tokyo and throughout Australia. He has delivered several high-profile public realm commissions, and was short-listed for the National Gallery of Australia's National Sculpture Prize in 2005.

Jordan Kaplan is a founder member of Parabola, an organisation dedicated to the promotion of exceptional contemporary art practice in the UK. Parabola instigates and commissions new art works, artists' residencies, schools' programmes, lecture series and publications, and is committed to the support of artists whose work is communicative in nature, regardless of form or media.

For further information, please contact:
Jordan Kaplan, Parabola, 11 Navarino Road, London, E8 1AD
T/F: 020 7249 4696 email:


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