Matt Smith CV

“In his own quiet way, Matt shows us what was always there”
Layla Bloom, Curator of the Stanley and Audrey Burton Art Gallery, Leeds

Working as a hybrid artist, curator and historian, the core of my practice is unpicking the work of establishment organisations and shifting their – and their visitors’ – points of reference. Using techniques of Institutional Critique and Artist Intervention, the familiar is made unfamiliar and power structures are brought to light.

Using craft, with its connotations of the amateur, accessibility and gender and exploiting its place in the art world, the work celebrates the mainstream and also unsettles it, taking objects from their intended roles and repurposing them in alternative situations and narratives.

Through re-appropriation and reinterpretation, the work aims to question the master narratives we get told and provide a space in which marginalised viewpoints are given space and alternative and contradictory conclusions can be made.

“Ingeniously producing objects that are both reassuringly familiar and strangely new, vibrant and multifaceted, Matt’s works are, in the end, irreverent reinterpretations of the ideas of kitsch – clichés that are first emptied, then filled again with ever more loaded meaning.
Oliver Winchester, Curator, Victoria and Albert Museum

Selected Exhibitions

2018  

  • Parian, solo show at Fitzwilliam Museum

2017  

  • Hanbury Hall, commission for National Trust
  • Collect, represented by Cynthia Corbett
  • London Art Fair, represented by Cynthia Corbett

2016  

  • 31 Note LoveSong, London Design Festival
  • Artist in Residence, Victoria and Albert Museum

2015  

  • Nature Morte, international tour organized by Michael Petry
  • Collect, represented by Cynthia Corbett
  • Leaving Home, Contemporary Applied Arts
  • London Art Fair, represented by Ink_d

2014 

  • A Place at the Table, Pallant House
  • Young Masters Art Prize, Lloyds Club and Spinx Fine Art, London (catalogue)
  • ReClaim I RePurpose, CultureCraft, Derry (catalogue)
  • Unravelling Uppark, The National Trusts (catalogue)
  • London Art Fair, represented by Ink_d

2013

  • Subversive Design, Brighton Museum and Art Gallery
  • Unravelling the Vyne, The National Trusts (catalogue)
  • London Art Fair, representented by Liberty Gallery

2012

  • Unravelling Nymans, Nymans House, The National Trust (catalogue)
  • Other Stories: Leeds University Art Collection (solo show, catalogue)

2010

  • Queering the Museum, Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery  (solo show, catalogue)
  •  DIY a Craft Revolution, Society for Contemporary Craft, Pittsburgh (touring show)
  • Milk, ASPEX, Portsmouth, (solo show)
  • Unravelling the Manor House, Preston Manor (catalogue)

2008

  • V&A Showcase in partnership with the Crafts Council
  • Rare, MK-Artworks

Awards

2017

  • Commission for new work, National Trust Hanbury Hall

2016

  • Arts Council Grant to make Wunderkammer

2015

  • Artist in Residence bursary at the V&A

2014    

  • Winner of the inaugural Maylis Grand Young Masters Prize for ceramics

2013

  • Arts Council Grant to work with Alice Kettle

2011

  • Art Council Grant for Unravelled: three year funding for craft interventions at National Trust Properties
  • Arts Council Grant for Other Stories: Leeds University Art Collection

2010

  • Arts and Humanities Research Council grant for PhD in Queer Craft
  • Arts Council Grant for Queering the Museum

2009 

  • Arts Council Grant for the Arts Award to set up Unravelled, a group exploring art in Historic Buildings
  • Commissioned by ShOUT! Festival to develop new work
  • arc award, aspex gallery. Grant with 12 months mentoring and a solo show in 2010

2008

  • Selected by Arts and Business for Visual, a scheme which aims to promote businesses to commission and work with contemporary artists
  • Arts Council Grant for the Arts Award to develop new work and be mentored by Stephen Dixon for 18 months

Education

 2016

  • Making Things Perfectly Queer: Art’s use of Craft to signify LGBT identities.
    AHRC funded PhD, University of Brighton

2006

  • Ceramics,  BA Hons (2.1), Westminster University

2003 – 2005

  • Fine and Applied Arts (Ceramics),  Dip HE, City Lit

 1996 – 1998

  • Museum Studies,  MA, Leicester University

1989 – 1993

  • Managerial & Administrative Studies,  BSc Hons (2.1), Aston University