Top image: Art Gene Open Prize Exhibition, with work by Matthew Houlding (foreground) and Maddi Nicholson (wall)
We first became interested in Matthew Houlding’s work when we visited British Art Show 6 at the Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art, Gateshead in 2005. We were there delivering a contemporary art training event for our company‘s Board. Matthew’s work, for us, stood out amongst the crowd of pieces by fifty Nationally renowned exhibiting artists: Perhaps because like Art Gene’s artist/founders he is an artist working on the edges of architecture in pursuit of a utopian dream.
His works have been shown in two recent Art Gene exhibitions. For Welcome to Paradise we commissioned him to make new works to celebrate the launch of the newly upgraded Art Gene Gallery.
Image above: Black Cement Pool, by Matthew Houlding, 2007, mixed media, Art Gene Open Prize Exhibition
Matthew Houlding takes the idea of the architect’s model but subverts both the material and the function, taking us on an adventure into uncharted territory. The works celebrate the idea of concept architecture and the pursuit of personal utopian ideals.
Houldings works summon desire and hope, intricately constructed from disparate found materials gathered over time: cardboard packaging, weathered timber, found postcards and colour photocopies from forgotten books on holiday destinations, all of which have landscapes written into their surfaces, reminding us that everything and everyone has the potential for another life.
With an instinctive feeling for material, Houlding shifts meanings and creates new forms. In addition to his critique on architecture, he creates dreams of spaces, backdrops for stories and new ideas, neither of yesterday nor of tomorrow but set in a time of their own.
This work is dedicated to a synthesis of art, design and architecture, a belief that art is capable of leading mankind to a brighter future. Matthew Houldings art offers models of thought. It invites us to reflect on our experience and environment and unveils our longing to retreat to a man-made haven.
Born in Keighley, Yorkshire, 1966.
Lives and works in Todmorden, West Yorkshire.
Graduated from Loughborough College of Art & Design in 1989.
Solo shows include, Clearwater, Unit 2 Gallery, London Metropolitan University,
2005; Archipelago, Art Buero Berlin and Buero Fur Kunst, Dresden, 2004/2005;
Continental Drift, The Lowry, Salford, 2004.
Group shows include, British Art Show 6, Baltic; Victory Park, City Art Gallery, Leeds, 2005; Rouge,
A Street Gallery, Santa Rosa, California, 2005; From A Distance, The Bluecoat Gallery,
Image below: Take me to your Future, 2009 (Front), Warrior on the Edge of Time, 2009 (Rear)