Matthew Watson is a Leeds based artist working mainly in sculpture, painting and installation. Over the past year, Matthew has been working in collaboration with Lucy Johnson under the project name D3MW. In 2017, they were commissioned by Arts Council England to embark on a year-long project, for Matthew to explore his practice as a solo artist with support from Lucy at Pyramid of Arts. Beginning with an interest in woodwork and painting, Matthew has had the time and space to develop his approach to making art and has explored letterpress printing, drawing, painting, sculpture, collage and most of all installation.
Matthew’s work is mostly abstract but always references roads, bridges, maps, numbers and words. Unlike a lot of other artists’ work, his sculptures and installations are always changing and moving and becoming something new. The exhibition which will be part of BEYOND Festival 2018 will showcase the art that Matthew has created over the last year and video footage will offer a glimpse into the way he works, to give an insight into how these artworks come to life. To take a look at where D3MW have been and what they have been doing throughout the project, look at their instagram profile: project_d3mw.
You can see Matthew’s exhibition, Thought Maps, at Studio 24 from 16th-20th July. Click here for details.
On 20th July we’ll be hosting a symposium at Studio 24 to discuss the issues and barriers that exist for artists with learning disabilities, and what we might be able to do together to overcome those barriers. The questions we’ll be asking are:
Question1: What are the barriers holding back learning disabled artists from being out in the mainstream more?
Question 2: How can we use our influence to create more opportunities in venues, and what are the problems that are stopping the venues?
Question 3: Are learning disabled artists and organisations really included in the debates around diversity or are we just clumped together when people talk about about disability but not as valued as much as physically disabled artists are?
Question 4: How can we create change more quickly?
You can contribute to the discussion in advance of the symposium by chatting to us on facebook or twitter and book your free symposium tickets by clicking here. (These links will all open in a new window.)
Tell us about the work you’ve done for BEYOND
My work is making a model out of pottery, out of clay. I tried to make a church, I done one church out of clay. I did a big one, it’s too big. I do a tiny little bit, do church again, small church, then do the rest of it, and then join it together.
What is the church part of?
Leeds, Leeds ‘round here. A model of Leeds. Made a model of my house out of matchsticks, then another house out of matchsticks. I tried to do it with matchsticks to see if that works, it doesn’t.
Do you think of yourself as an artist?
Yes, I’m getting better and I’ve been getting good at it.
Anything else you want to say about your work?
It’s good! I have to try, but it’s good. I keep working on it and get better and better. Keep building more models, keep it going.
You can see Howard’s exhibition, Model City, in Room 700 at Leeds Central Library from 5th-21st July. Click here for details.
Tell us about your art
I drawed a whale, another whale. And another whale. And dolphin, and lion, and octopus, and tortoise. That’s a spider. That’s a lizard. Dolphin. And a whale. And a dog. And a bird. And a dog. Elephant. And kangaroo, and octopus. And antelope. And erm, and a kangaroo. A giraffe. And another giraffe. And crab. And leopard. And another leopard, and a lizard. I use pen, I use a pencil, make the lines thicker. Started doing shading. Like the animals to look mean, sharp teeth, sharp claws, making spikes.
Do you always draw animals?
Do you ever make up monsters or imaginary animals?
Yes, yes. And different ones. Made up people.
How do you feel when you’re doing your art?
Happy. I’d say happy. I am an artist and I like to draw.
Adam’s exhibition, Creatures, is on at Studio 24 from 16th – 20th July. Click here for details.
What kind of artwork do you like to do?
Pyramid of Arts. Pictures of people. Work. Picture, photo.
How do you make your photo-collages?
Put the picture onto the paper, cut, and glue it on. And shadow.
What kinds of things have you made collages about?
Animals; Skegness Zoo; planes, airport; Pyramid of Arts all together; more planes, army planes; Skegness people; race car; more animal; live [music]; Leeds Rhinos; food; trains.
What is the big project you have been working on for BEYOND?
Sausage. Picture, sausage. Red, yellow, blue. A map of cafés. A box. Sausage. Box, square, inside picture on it, sausage.
Is this your favourite project?
Yes, I like sausage.
When did you first start doing art and photography?
School. Painting. I did a picture of a camera and a hand, shadow. Black and white.
Do you think your art has developed since then?
Yes. Laptop. Photoshop.
You’ve given talks about your work in Hull and Manchester, how did you find that?
Andrew’s project, The Sausage Atlas, will be exhibited in Leeds Kirkgate Market event space from 5th-22nd July. Click here for details.