Matthew Roy Arnold
Growing up in the ’80s in the ex-fishing port of Grimsby, Matthew Roy Arnold went on to Study Fine Art at the University of West of England (UWE), Bristol in 2003. Since graduating Arnold has been regularly exhibiting locally and nationally. He has also taught drawing at UWE, University of Bath and independently.
His works have evolved from a conceptual based postmodern art practice, to creating work that is very much in the present, focusing on the work that exists in the here and now. Arnold’s sculpture incorporates an intense mixture of sound, light, drawing, painting and digital technology. His art practice has been enriched through working as a sculptor and fabricator in TV, film and the immersive experience industry.
Light sculptures 2020
Latest sculptures 2020
In a world of cloning, accessible mass-manufacture and virtual reality, mankind is approaching the fulfilment of its ancient desire to attain the power of creation; to rival and even overcome the Gods which we have feared for so long. However, the greater our power over nature grows, perhaps the more apparent our flaws become. Our mastery of technology has progressed at astonishing speed, yet has our philosophical and spiritual understanding of reality undergone the same transformative advancement?
In these works we are presented with groups of repeating rock-like objects, arranged in seemingly ritualistic fashion, resembling the astronomical and religious stone structures of our early ancestors suddenly exposed to the harsh, artificial light of the 21st Century. Some appear to be natural, found objects, while others are geometrically carved to reveal some kind of inner Platonic form. The ‘real’ rock is juxtaposed with its abstracted self – but which strikes us more forcibly with an authentic presence?
On closer inspection a wide variety of contrasting materials become apparent: from the primal stone , plaster and steel, to the refined cut glass, silicon wafers and printed circuit boards capturing a microcosm of human development through material. The evolving artistic direction is inevitably preserved in the indelible markings of the rocks but also wilfully preserved by the artist in the development of the circuit boards – the question of legacy in the digital age is brought to the fore: should we tear down and erase imperfect constructs?
Following on from the 2015 exhibition Recursions, Sol is an immersive exhibition of sculptures that casts a literal light on the alterations made to our landscape. Each piece is centred around a rock altered with cut facets, paintings and engravings with scored grids contouring the surfaces. This is replicated in plaster and mirrored in reflective materials to present alternates to the original. Within these landscapes, patterned circuit boards and silicon solar cells cluster in formations that evoke the past, present and future of human influence.
Sol invites the viewer to enter a space in which our perception of reality is teasingly undermined; where we are confronted by pieces which allude to the infinite landscapes of mathematics and virtual reality within a physical form. Each artwork is a focal point for meditation on the real and the virtual, whilst serving as an example of how digital technology can be used to build upon traditional sculptural practice.
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BA Fine Art, University of West England – hons. 01/10/2003 to 01/6/2007
End of year projects include ‘Art Space for Sale’ and ‘Sistine Table’.
- 2020 Sol, Kosar Contemporary, Bristol
- 2016 2nd Recursion, Center Space Gallery, Bristol
- 2015 Recursions, Mercer chance gallery, Hoxton, London
- 2015 Manifestations, Cript at st John the Baptist Church, Bristol
- 2013 Tower, Motorcade Flash Parade, Bristol
- 2011 Work, Motorcycle flash parade, Bristol
- 2010 Art Space for Sale, 8 Week Gallery, Bristol
- 2013 Giant Snail and Tiny Lions, View Gallery, Bristol
- 2011 Luggage, Showroom, Bristol
- 2011 Summer Salon, View Gallery, Bristol
- 2010 Sounds Like Painting, Royal West of England Academy, Bristol
- 2006 Other Paintings, Create Centre, Bristol
- 2006 UWE BA Fine Art Degree Show, Spike Island, Bristol
- 2005 Fine Art V AVC, Spike Island
- Home workshop 2017- present
- BV studios 2010-18
- Jamaica Street studios 2006-09