Maggie Matthews was born in Blaina, a small mining village in South Wales in 1964. She studied Fine Art at Newport College of Art and Design followed by a degree at Exeter College of Art and in 1988 moved to St Just in West Cornwall where she still lives and works.
Matthews’ work is based on natural forms – (flowers, shells, rocks, etc.) found in the landscape, which she reworks into abstracted landscapes that reflect feelings she has on the day as well as the autonomy of the painting process.
Working from sketches done on the spot the paintings evolve in her studio, fusing these forms with an abstract use of colour. Maggie’s paintings work on many different levels – from decorative concerns that stem from a fascination with the repetition of pattern in the natural world to powerful colour harmonies that are an equivalent for the emotion of that day. In this sense they remind me of Victor Pasmore’s work. Works like ‘Twilight’, for example, show similar ideas to Pasmore’s painting in the pattern caused by the repetition of natural forms. The colour is both literal and abstract and the decision making in the painting seems very right. Matthews has obviously taken great delight in the quality of the line – incised and drawn.
Another big change in her recent work is that they have become more perspectival. Whereas before her work was much flatter, the new work is more spatially complex and the pictures work much more on a metaphorical landscape level. She has absorbed her influences – Heron, Lanyon and Pasmore and evolved her own language which is becoming more complex and compelling.
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