Peter Matthews

Peter Mathews was born in Derby, lives in Leicestershire and regards Cornwall as his spiritual home. He has a natural affinity with the sea, but spent much of his youth exploring the countryside, enjoying solitude as he explored the forests and rivers of Derbyshire.  Matthews has created his work in the earth’s oceans, Cornwall, Hawaii, Chile, Taiwan. In doing so, he can spend long periods—ranging from hours to days – floating or submerging in the ocean, bobbing in the water. He keeps his artistic media either cached in his hat or strapped to his wrists or ankles. This includes charcoal, pencil, oil stick and gel pens. The surfaces he draws on can range from paper to canvas sheeting, pinned to “old piece of plywood” which acts both as drawing board and flotation device. This method also allows him to explore—in his words—”the fluid midpoint between sea and land, thought and form.” Matthews lives his work, the shore and oceans are his studios. He often enters the water at dawn and may stay immersed until nightfall, and effectively “lets the ocean do the work for him”; sometimes the work is left exposed to the elements and tides overnight in which the piece continues its natural development. Matthews has described himself as merely being the “instrument” by which the sea “draw[s] itself.”

Mathews exhibits internationally – in Italy, Germany, United States, as well as extensively in the UK, recently at the John Moore’s in Liverpool. He has lectured in the US and been artist in residence at the Scripps Institute of oceanography. Currently he has won an Arts Council grant in order to create a new body of work for a solo exhibition at the National Maritime Museum.

Matthews has created his work in the earth’s oceans, Cornwall, Hawaii, Chile, Taiwan, the shore and oceans are his studios. He keeps his artistic media either cached in his hat or strapped to his wrists or ankles. This includes charcoal, pencil, oil stick and gel pens. The surfaces he draws on can range from paper to canvas sheeting, pinned to an old piece of plywood which acts both as drawing board and flotation device. This method also allows him to explore—in his words—”the fluid midpoint between sea and land, thought and form.” He often enters the water at dawn and may stay immersed until nightfall, and effectively “lets the ocean do the work for him”; sometimes the work is left exposed to the elements and tides overnight in which the piece continues its natural development. Matthews has described himself as merely being the “instrument” by which the sea “draws itself.” http://petermatthews.org

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