EXHIBITIONS

THE JOZE SHOW    September 2013

Matt's work was on display this year at The Joze Show it was hosted by Richard Taylor and Rick Englert in their magnificent home Whithurst Park, Kirdford, West Sussex.

www.thejozeshow.com

2013 Detail Chalk Track Bignor 100 x 100 cm

 

ZIMMER STEWART GALLERY JUNE 2013

MATT BODIMEADE - MAKING TRACKS

In most of Matt Bodimeade's work there's central motif: a wall, a track, a river or a railway. It is no coincidence that this division is often scythe or sickle shaped and seems to slice the landscape apart; the fields and woods suggest work, movement and energy, shaped like plough blades, discs, or saw teeth on either side of the central divide.

So as you stroll through Matt's lanscapes, stopping beside the flint wall, or looking down a track to the river, enjoying the arrangement of colour and form, light and shade, rhythm and texture, and deep, vertiginous perspectives, there's always going to be something niggling at you from the side.

And that niggle is probably just a horsefly or phytophototoxic blister from the giant hogweed but there's definitely something a bit edgy about Matt's pastoral landscapes. The paintings are carefully drawn, often from charcoal sketches made out in the field. The new departure into oil painting reveals an enjoyment of colour for its own sake rather than a photographic representation. Pinks, oranges, acid yellows; whatever suits the mood he's trying to capture.

The absence of figures in the paintings reflects modern farming practices, and for good or bad there's no right to roam round here. But the presence of human history is deeply felt. It's evident everywhere from the network of hedgerows, the coppiced woods and the tracks and pathways worn down to the bare chalk. This is ancient, cultivated land; everything is cropped, channelled and contained; knapped, carved and cut.

What makes these paintings so impressive is the unsentimental way Matt views the landscape, his bold use of line and colour, and his sculptor's feeling for form. This is combined with a deep respect for those unseen figures in the fields, on the rail tracks and riverbanks whose bone-juddering, brain-deadening labour created and cultivated the landscape that he paints. (text based on a recent conversation between Matt and his brother, Miles Bodimeade).

Matt Bodimeade first showed his landscapes in 2010, and they have been in demand ever since. Having studied sculpture at West Sussex College of Art and Design and Brighton Polytecnic, Matt worked on a number of public and private commissions throughout the UK (including the Cass Sculpture Foundation).

Matt Bodimeade lives and works in West Sussex.

 

 

PRESS  
RESIDENT MAGAZINE    June 2012
Arundel artist matt bodimeade painted the cover of the resident magazine's 1st anniversary issue. He tells us how 'layers of indecision' and the sussex countryside help him turn something classic into a contemporary work of art.
There was an "inevitability" that Matt Bodimeade would be an artist, he told The Resident Magazine. His father was an artist, his mother an art teacher and his bother is also an accomplished painter. He said: "Art is innately a part of me. I've always been around creative people and their work and I have memories of my dad in his studio painting. So it was never a conscious decision. It was our way of life." Matt's mother was also instrumental in establishing the Arundel Gallery Trail, which both Matt and his brothers took part in during the early period of their careers. Having been born and raised in Arundel, Matt also works as a landscape gardener and has been paying attention to the landscapes of Sussex that inspire his work today since he was a young boy. It was his history with the local area and the combination of his contemporary interpretations of centuryold landscapes that made him the perfect choice for The Resident Magazine's first anniversary cover.

 

Matt's early work was mostly sculpture, after a teacher recommended he try it. "I attended a foundation level art course at Worthing College, which is now Northbrook. One of the teachers suggested I try sculpture, noticing I had trouble with little brushes and intricate details. So I enrolled in a degree programme in sculpture design at Brighton Poly." Soon after, Matt was acknowledged for his skills by the CASS Sculpture Foundation - an organisation established 25 years ago that hosts a sculpture park in the Goodwood estate. It was there that much of Matt's early work was displayed. I still very much love sculpting. It marries my skills with my hands as a landscaper but also is a very creative, expressive art form. But it can really sap your energy.

"He found an equally expressive avenue for his creativity in painting, around the age of 30, inspired by the South Downs where he will go to work. He said: "I would look out over the landscapes and think to myself 'I should be painting this.'" Averse to many of the finer details and techniques used by traditional painters, Matt has a unique and individual style of painting, using layers of colour to cover and then scrape off his canvass, creating a combination of abstract work inspired by traditional scenes. He paints on paper using mostly pastels or a graphite pencil in what he describes as "layers and layers of indecision." He added: "Painting gives me freedom. It's my landscape when I paint it. I don't have to stick to what I can see. I can create whatever I want. There are constraints when I design a sculpture, and there are constraints in my day job as a landscaper. But when I paint I have utter freedom. I also love the landscapes of West Sussex. I enjoy painting the slopes, watching the shapes. It's incredibly rich here for inspiration. It's quite a suppressed landscape in a sense as much of it has been changed by man and played around with. But I enjoy the rivers, the houses the sections of land." The result of Matt's 'indecision' are beautiful paintings. Often using earthy colours of greens, yellows and blues sometimes contrasted with the harshest of red skies. He added: "My work is getting more colourful – as I get happier. And I do have a real love for it. I can't do it on demand. I have to be compelled to work on something. Fortunately I have that freedom – I'm not doing it to buy the groceries. Which I think lends itself to more artistic work.

"Matt regularly exhibits his pieces and works closely with the Zimmer Stewart Gallery in Arundel, which has housed much of his work. Owner James Stewart said: "Matt has integrity, ability and there's a quality to his work, the likes of which I rarely see. It's the reason I like to work with him and display what he does at the gallery. The next exhibition by Matt Bodimeade will be held at the Zimmer Stewart Gallery from 11 August to 8 September – just a week before the famous Arundel Festival. For more information visitzimmerstewart.co.uk

 

WEST SUSSEX GAZETTE    Aug 15th, 2012

An English Pastoral Tradition with Agrochemicals is the Arundel Festival exhibition to be staged at the town's Zimmer Stewart Gallery from August 10th to September 8. It focuses on the work of Matt Bodimeade. James Stewart, who runs the gallery. said: "Matt Bodimeade new South Downs drawings are his response to this part of West Sussex, with a deep, complex and intelligent mixture of feelings and memories formed over 40 years.

"Matt uses oil pastel and charcoal in sweeping marks on an A1 sheet, filling the page with colour and form. He works swiftly, blending colours with his fingers and scraping back with a blade to reveal layers of colour and texture.

"Matt Bodimeade's new drawings are created on site in an area of the South Downs which he knows well. The area around South Stoke and Offham was his playground as a child and first work place as a form hand in his teens.

"It's a place for which he has much fondness. Rich in memories, this is evident in this series of nine drawings mixed media on paper. "Fields, borders and tracks are clearly defined, with a confidence that only comes with a deep knowledge of the place. The rich colours and layering create an image that is ageless and instantly familiar to all." Having studied at West Sussex College of Art and Design and Brighton Polytechnic, Matt worked on a number of public and private commissions throughout the UK (including the Cass Sculpture Foundation)

 

CHICHESTER OBSERVER  Aug 9th, 2012

An English Pastoral Tradition with Agrochemicals is the Arundel Festival exhibition to be staged at the town's Zimmer Stewart Gallery from August 10th to September 8. It focuses on the work of Matt Bodimeade. James Stewart, who runs the gallery. said: "Matt Bodimeade new South Downs drawings are his response to this part of West Sussex, with a deep, complex and intelligent mixture of feelings and memories formed over 40 years.

"Matt uses oil pastel and charcoal in sweeping marks on an A1 sheet, filling the page with colour and form. He works swiftly, blending colours with his fingers and scraping back with a blade to reveal layers of colour and texture.

"Matt Bodimeade's new drawings are created on site in an area of the South Downs which he knows well. The area around South Stoke and Offham was his playground as a child and first work place as a form hand in his teens.

"It's a place for which he has much fondness. Rich in memories, this is evident in this series of nine drawings mixed media on paper. "Fields, borders and tracks are clearly defined, with a confidence that only comes with a deep knowledge of the place. The rich colours and layering create an image that is ageless and instantly familiar to all." Having studied at West Sussex College of Art and Design and Brighton Polytechnic, Matt worked on a number of public and private commissions throughout the UK (including the Cass Sculpture Foundation)