SIMON NEWTON

Creative Director, Exhibition and Artist Curator at Xposure International Photography Festival

Simon is responsible for curating guest photographers, exhibitions and designing a balanced scope of workshop programs, seminars, panel discussions and live stage events and combining content into a program of activities, bringing world-class and useful educational and creative mix to international audiences.

As the art director his responsibility is to supervise and unify not only the exhibitions but also the seminars. In particular, being in charge of the overall visual appearance and how it communicates visually, stimulates moods, contrasts features, and psychologically appeals to a target audience is required. He is responsible for making decisions about visual elements used, what artistic style to use, and when to use motion. One of the most challenging problems he faces is to translate desired moods, messages, concepts, and underdeveloped ideas from imagery. He is ultimately responsible for solidifying the vision of the collective message while resolving conflicting agenda and inconsistencies between the various individual inputs.

The evaluation of strong visual communication design should measure comprehension by the audience, not on personal aesthetic and artistic preference as there are no universally agreed-upon principles of aesthetics.

Simon spent most of his career in the corporate environment working in the gaming industry and before taking up photography and was Vice President of Operations for a US public company and Managing Director and Chairman of the Board of European Casino Operations.

As a photographer, Simon tends to refer to himself as a generalist. Whilst enjoying architectural work in his free time, his main photography experience over the past 13 years was in lifestyle, travel and commercial photography, before being appointed head of Photography for Sharjah Government Media Bureau which led his tenure as a Royal Photographer and subsequently as photography advisor, undertaking the role of Creative Director for Xposure in 2015.