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Matthew Harris

Warp, weft, stitch, thread 2021

Matthew Harris is a graduate of the textile course at Goldsmiths College and has been working with textiles since 2000, having for the previous ten years made and exhibited drawings and works on paper. He has shown in a number of group and solo exhibitions throughout the U.K, Ireland and Japan.

All of Matthew's work, whether in cloth or paper, utilises a process of continuous expansion and contraction, action and reaction. A process whereby layers of image become trapped and compressed, folded in, to form strata of embedded material, ‘seeded with potentiality’. By excavating down through layers of this material, scraps and fragments of image are revealed. As he cuts through, shapes, lines, areas of colour and texture are exposed and a playful movement begins. Some elements are kept and left where they are, others are moved, sometimes slightly, other times from one side of the cloth to the other; some Matthew exposes and then buries again as they seem unnecessary. As this process plays out, he pays close attention to the material, responding quickly at times and more slowly at others until eventually a composition begins to emerge that has its roots deeply embedded in the original painted cloth but which has evolved to become a new image, re-configured and pieced together; a new imagining of what had been. Ultimately this process allows for infinite possibility and variation explored within the confines of the original material. More often than not, series of three or more are made, all of which have their starting point in the same image. In much the same way improvisation in Jazz happens around a standard tune, elements of the original remain but often they are only glimpsed or heard as fragments within the new.

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