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11 February - 23 April 2023

Simon Ward is a largely self-taught animator and video director from Te Whanganui-a-Tara with over sixty music videos under his belt. Music Television, his showreel for Tauranga Art Gallery celebrates the best of his practice from 2007 until today and features collaborations with musicians including Princess Chelsea, Disasteradio and Kalifa a.k.a Le1f.  


Ward’s nostalgia-driven sensibility is fuelled by his upbringing in a small town in New Zealand (Heretaunga) where boredom was alleviated through the worlds of science-fiction and fantasy. A true innovator in Aotearoa animation, the lo-fi aesthetic Ward is renowned for was borne out of practicality – he began making no and low-budget music videos for his friends from his bedroom ‘production studio’.   Since then, his accolades have grown to include broad-ranging projects from his co-directed animated comedy Aroha Bridge to epic VR artworks produced in collaboration with visual artist Jess Johnson. Ward’s DIY mentality makes him an inspirational figure for independent animators. In a recent interview for Rat World magazine he observed; 

‘If you want to be a cartoon director, just start making cartoons and putting them on YouTube, then you are a cartoon director. You’ll , and you’ll gather an audience. And eventually, people will know you as a cartoon director. Just start.’

Simon Ward, Drop Shadow music video still (2020) (Musician: eyeliner)

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