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Matthew Burrows Exhibition

8 November 2022 to 8 January 2023 Wellington Arch Museum

Image: @Matthew Burrows-Photographer-MarkCocksedge
This is Burrows’ first solo exhibition since his conception and launch of the Artist Support Pledge, an internationally successful initiative that created a micro economy that has generated tens of millions of sales for artists through Instagram and related activity since its creation in March 2020. 

Burrows lives and works in the East Sussex countryside, his studio overlooking the Tillingham valley and Beckley Wood, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.  He describes his relationship with habitat as "... one of dwelling, imagination, and ritual, rather than description or nostalgia…I want painting to open up the rich complexities of our nature/s by the most direct means possible.”

Included in the show will be new, larger scale works, the fruition of his,  In and Through series which he developed during the pandemic.  These paintings reflect Burrows’ interest in connection, ‘… to ourselves, one another, and our environment... and the conditions in which we all might thrive.

The titles of the works echo Burrows’ preoccupation with the experience of landscape: Lineament, Sternō, Shataph, and Gatescape. Collectively, they suggest a mapping of nature, an attempt to understand a relationship of interdependence. Burrows concerns around the societal failure to connect nature with culture, was part of the genesis behind Artist Support Pledge. “Our failure to be natural is an exposure of our human folly. Nature is not to be controlled, but to be lived in and through to be understood within a broad eco system”.

Speaking about the making of the work and his unusual use of natural fibres, Burrows says: “The paintings are made on jute and burlap, and the coarse open weave gives a tactile surface on which the layers of thin paint are brushed, washed and poured. These paintings are made in thin layers, in alternating colours. The coarse burlap and jute creates a rough texture and an open weave, resisting mechanical perfection and symmetry. I developed the motifs from drawings of the landscape around my studio. These are combined with images of gates, fences, and electrical pylons, industrial interventions into the environment. The process of redrawing and painting creates an entropy of these structures until they combine with the forms of the landscape, creating skeletal patterns. I see these as visual mantras inviting meditation, taking the landscape from being a view to look at, to an experience of being. “

Further information: - Wellington Arch Exhibitions | English Heritage (english-heritage.org.uk)

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