Simon Benson is first and foremost a draughtsman. His drawings sometimes include text and sometimes consist purely of drawn text.
The lettering may also grow into a three-dimensional textual work. This may happen on a small scale, as in a drawing or wall object such as Caos, or on a large scale, as in the seventeen-part sculpture An Anthropomorphic Landscape (1993–95) with its references to architecture and to the human body. Longer texts, such as his Universal Anatomy (edition of 50, 1997) which lists over 300 Italian words and phrases, or the poetical text Do You Still Hear The Birds Singing (published in book form, 2005), allow him to play with the possibilities of repetition, semantic cross reference and metamorphosis, while treating the literal content lightly. Formally, he achieves this in other works by stretching the letters or by taking them apart or stacking the words, as in his “literally” illegible text object A Striking Practical Illustration (1991). Written matter becomes sculpture.