Matthew studied at Central Saint Martins College of Art. He currently lives and works in Cornwall. Alongside his studio practice, Matthew has lectured at Central Saint Martins, Chelsea College of Arts, and, most recently, Falmouth University.

A Move in Memory

When describing the natural world our language does its best to define what we see. We might use place names, or cite species, as prompts or bookmarks in our catalogue of life experience. This underpinning taxonomy provides a consistency to our constantly evolving encounters, and reassurance, perhaps, before the pervading question of our role as observer.

We are often awed by the natural world and might pause on occasion to capture such moments digitally, as permanent reminder of the scenes which present to us with such lucidity. But these recorded formats are fallible, and ultimately unreliable. Technological advance renders formats obsolete; printed matter will fade. In this way our recollections are impermanent, and the images which we commit to memory are similarly temporary and moveable.

We are an unreliable witness to the truth of our own experience. The way each of us receives the images of our world is unique. Our ‘camera’ settings differ and thus do our recordings. Indeed, our memory playback is laden with white noise, questionable image definition, and distortion. Colours shift and camera positions alter; locations merge; time is undone. Where we may have been the directors of our movie we now sit as audience to a different script.

I am interested in this boundary between the lived and recalled experience of the natural world, and specifically the local Cornish landscape. By embracing this ‘movement in memory’ my work explores the ‘telling’ of these encounters, where painting bears unreliable witness to an impermanent landscape.

(Matthew Dixon, 2020)

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©2020 Matthew Dixon