This weekend the artist Matthew Lawrence lays bare the contents of his head in an intense and evocative first solo show; ‘Beneath The Surface Of The Day’, a show which has been three years in its creation. Held in the industrial warehouse setting of an ex-pencil factory in Seven Sisters, North London, this promises to be no typical exhibition. Lawrence’s work is a mixture of automatic painting (first practiced by the Surrealists), mixed with self-exploration. The artist spills a complex cocktail of emotions across each canvas as he delves into the vulnerabilities we usually hide deep within our subconscious.
‘A lot of the time many of us find our minds and bodies being over consumed by living in a hectic city, where days sweep by without any attention to the build up of emotions life and relationships throw at us.’
We caught up with Matthew Lawrence to do a little pre-delving before this weekend’s exhibition –
Candid Magazine: How does it feel to be putting together your first solo show? It’s an unusual industrial space to exhibit in; do you feel it compliments your work well?
Matthew Lawrence: Keeping all the balls in the air is super challenging especially while working full time, but it’s an exciting goal to be heading for. I’m really happy with the space – I think the structural timber frames of the roof work well with the hanging canvases; it keeps a certain rawness to the exhibition.
CM: Do you often have a pre-arranged vision of an image, or does a lot of your work start out as one thing and end up as another?
M.L: More often than not I don’t have an image in my head I’m working towards. Each new work is a brand new extension of self. Not knowing what will happen next keeps it exciting for me.
C.M: When did you realise ‘this is it for me’?
M.L: I don’t remember the exact moment but the feeling was as strong and certain as discovering masturbation for the first time.
C.M: How important has sex been to your work?
M.L: Sex and all the desires that come with it have been an intense influence to my work. The connections between humans through sex can be mind warping – even more so the absence of it.
C.M: What keeps you working?
M.L: A sense of wholeness, but weightless feeling after marking my journey onto the canvas.
C.M: What artists have had an inspirational affect on you?
M.L: I’d say my initial inspirations came from Hans Bellmer’s drawings and Joan Miro’s paintings. However I find most of today’s inspiration in music I listen to, such as Tom Waits.
C.M: If it were possible for you to paint anywhere, where would it be?
M.L: I’d love to be able to paint at the bottom of the ocean, you don’t know what you might find down there.
By Maxine Kirsty Sapsford
‘Beneath The Surface Of The Day’ is open Saturday 8th 6pm – 10pm, Sunday 9th and Monday 10th 12pm – 5pm at Unit 1 Pride House, Shanklin Road, South Tottenham, N15 4FB. For more information and to see more of Lawrence’s work go to www.mglawrence.co.uk