• Garden Ruin

Matthews, Bob, 2009, Show, Exhibition or Event, Garden Ruin

Abstract or Description:

The solo exhibitions ‘Garden Ruin’ (2009) and its predecessor ‘Face Yourself’ (shown in London at Keith Talent Gallery, September–October 2008), presented Matthews’s artworks in response to his research into the historical and inventive approaches to ecology and nurture, sociological debate and art production in the context of living communes. The London exhibition selected artworks related directly to research into Northern European communes, while the 2009 San Francisco exhibition combined ideas drawn from settlements in the USA. Together, both exhibitions reflected research into four independent communes: The Center for Experimental Culture Design (ZEGG), near Berlin; Black Bear Ranch, California; Ökotop Heerdt, Düsseldorf; and Freetown Christiania, Denmark. Matthews’s research methods included extended visits to these sites, working directly with the communities and their archives.
The project draws from Matthews’s research into the model of the utopian commune, emergent mainly in the USA and Northern Europe during the 1960s, and their current form and status. By exhibiting work over two exhibition sites, Matthews established a link between geographically diverse communities, generating a series of artworks that examine the outcomes and artefacts constructed within self-contained utopian communities.
Employing contrasting approaches to art production, Matthews combined traditional and new printmaking techniques, using computers, airbrush stencil work, linocut and woodcut processes to emulate the changeability of nature. Prints included in ‘Face Yourself’ (2008) illustrate the use, function and environmental impact of gardens and outdoor spaces, while works in ‘Garden Ruin’ focus on representations of nature through contemporary mediation, with an emphasis on the shifting seasonal garden, i.e. a potential ruin, and thereby a metaphor for the possible outcome of any utopian endeavour.
The exhibition was reviewed in, amongst others, Art Business, Daily Serving and Shotgun Review (2009). Matthews received research sabbatical funding as well private funding from the galleries to undertake this project.

Garden RuinSan Francisco: Gregory Lind Gallery7 May–27 June 2009UNSPECIFIED
Subjects: Creative Arts and Design > W100 Fine Art
School or Centre: School of Arts & Humanities
Date Deposited: 21 Oct 2013 11:31
Last Modified: 28 Nov 2019 15:25
URI: https://researchonline.rca.ac.uk/id/eprint/1407
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