Picking something up and placing it next to something it has never been in proximity to before is how the work Matthew Swift makes begins. If a resonance occurs between these newly introduced disparate elements, if there is a visual hum, then the work has potential. This hum is often discordant, a bit bumpy or awkward, but will always allude to a space or place that could have been or will be.
The work is frequently made up of abstract patterns, maps, motifs and structures; utilising a language of doodles, daubs, spillages, stipples and observations. The work can be two-dimensional or three-dimensional or both. Photographs sometimes are starting points for investigations into shapes, textures, light and space.
Matthew finds the constantly changing materiality of the everyday world compelling: Forms (trees, clouds, walls, crushed packets, buildings) and their corresponding surfaces tell us something; what this ‘telling’ might be is at the nub of what interests him.
In the same way the different materials art can be made with ‘say’ something, even before they have been dripped, daubed, drawn, constructed or deconstructed. The visual conversation that occurs between a piece of lined note paper with lightly scribbled pencil curlicues on it, a photograph of rusted scaffold and a piece of canvas with expressionistic strokes of oil paint on it, could conjure up a glimpse of a half remembered moment or present a new possibility of somewhere to go, hovering in the future.