Leading up to the 2018 West Bristol Arts Trail, Matthew answers some questions about himself and his forthcoming exhibition:
1) A quick introduction about yourself
I’m an artist specialising in a wide range of disciplines. My main inspirations are the natural world and my home town of Bristol. I began studying for a ceramics degree at Bower Ashton UWE. After a break from creating art I entered the first Bristol Pound design competition and my winning design featured on the ten pound note. Since then I have been creating and producing work, ranging from photography, mixed media painting and, more recently, illustration
2) Describe your work
The work I am exhibiting this year is a series of monochrome illustrations focusing on the plant kingdom.
I have looked at many aspects of how plants survive and function, from flower to seed. The monochrome highlights the incredible detail of plant structures that we often overlook.
I collected the objects from various sources and drew them first-hand. The closer you look at the subjects the more detail emerges. It’s a very satisfying process as more and more details emerge over time.
3) Which artists inspire you?
So many, my main inspiration was my lecturer and talented ceramicist Mo Jupp, who sadly passed away this year. His last advice to me was not to waste my talent, Those words haunted me for years during my break from art.
I really like storytelling in art, especially in cultures across the world such as Inuit and Assyrian art for example. Grayson Perry is someone who does this well across a variety of mediums.
I take great pleasure from viewing illustrations and paintings of nature, both contemporary and historic. One book I am drawn to is John James Audubon's ‘Birds of America’. His intention to was to paint every bird in North America in 1820 when most of the continent was ‘wild’. The book is immense and full of dramatic illustrations, some of the species in the book are now extinct following the expansion of the United States.
4) What inspires your work?
During my break in Art, I was working in Science Communication at At Bristol (now We The Curious). What drove me there was educating people using many creative techniques. This continues with me today in my work.
I’ve always been curious in the natural world: As a child I would turn over stones to see the creepy crawlies and look into ponds watching the world the life there lived.
The main aim of my work is to highlight the overlooked or get people to see closely at their environment around them.
5) Why are you exhibiting in the West Bristol Arts Trail?
This is my fourth year. I really enjoy exhibiting my work to a lovely crowd.
Previous themes included Birds, Exoskeletons and A Bristol Safari. Each year I relish exhibiting a new theme.
This year I am delighted to be exhibiting with two talented friends, so you will get to see three disciplines under one roof. Please also check Dave and Richard's work (linked to their names in this sentence).
We are also providing free Mulled Cider too, so what more could you ask for?
The Exhibition runs 11am-5pm on 13th & 14th October at Venue 47 (Bellevue Crescent, BS8 4TE)