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Matt Smith: Trouble With History


  • Ink_d Gallery 96 N Rd Brighton, BN1 1YE United Kingdom (map)

Contemporary artist and ceramicist, Matt Smith will present a brand new body of work during his solo show at Ink_d Gallery in July.

Four and a half years in the making, ‘Trouble with History’ will feature a selection of tapestry artworks, which explore issues of identity and queerness.

In creating these pieces, Matt sourced vintage tapestries and domestic textile kits to unpick, re-work and subvert. The result is an intriguing collection of textile-based art, which redirect the viewer’s attention away from the central figures or intended focal points of the original works, while challenging perception and orientation.

To the untrained eye, the works may appear have a sense of humour and irony, however beneath the surface lies a deep thesis. Drawing on Matt’s PhD in Queer Craft, ‘Trouble with History’ denotes a history of repression and stigmatization ofdifference while exploring the notion of queernesswithin society.

Adopting an amateur craft technique and subverting the original image creates space for alternative viewpoints. Matt explains:

“The unpicking and restitching of someone else’s work is a slow and laborious, and strangely intimate experience. The reworking of these objects, for me, plays with ideas about the partial and fluid nature of memories and history. The resultant ambiguity of what these objects mean – or can mean for different viewers – is something I really enjoy about the work.”

Through his work with the National Trust, co-directing the ‘Unravelled’ project, and with solo shows at Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery and Leeds University Art Collection, Matt has helped gain recognition for marginalised identities and relationships that have traditionally been suppressed.

Matt is best known for his ceramic assemblages, using a slip casting technique to merge items old and new, some of which will be part of the show.

Matt has recently been awarded the position of Artist in Residence at the V&A Museum, starting in October 2015.

‘Trouble with History’ will run from 4 July-2 August, Monday-Saturday 10am-6pm, Sundays 12-4pm. For more information visit www.ink-d.co.uk.