'Fascination' - Mat Chivers
curated by James Putnam
Maddox Arts, London W1
March 24th - May 12, 2011
Solo exhibition of sculpture and drawings by Mat Chivers
The show comprised sculptures and drawings derived from the artist?s fascination for cloud-like and crystalline structures. This longstanding curiosity for cloud and crystalline formations is accompanied by an interest in alchemical transformation. Analogue and digital processes are brought together in Chivers' work, presenting a tension between opposites. The meeting point of these opposites is pivotal to Chivers? practice. He examines the relationship between polarities demonstrating a concern for the cognitive processes involved in the act of perceiving environmental phenomena. Chivers employs the cloud as a metaphor for metamorphic processes reflecting the way in which we sense, filter, develop and understand the world that surround us.
'Syzygy' consists of a dynamic two-part work, which shows a 1.3-meter high intricately hand carved cloud-like form in translucent white Alabaster facing a crystalline piece of Indian Black Granite assembled though a digital process. The second element placed horizontally has been generated by having the alabaster structure digitally scanned. This process results in a three-dimensional mesh, comprised of millions of triangles, which Chivers has then systematically condensed to include a final total of fifty-four triangles. Untouched by the artist?s hands, this synthetic object represents a subverted mirror copy of the upright hand carved sculpture?. 'Syzygy' creates a dialogue between dichotomies. The sublime sensibility associated with clouds is contrasted with the lifeless almost unfamiliar quality of crystalline structures. By juxtaposing polar opposites the artist reflects a tension between traditional methods of artistic production such as the use of chisel and stone with digitally scanned technological processes.
A sense of polarity is conveyed in the work of Mat Chivers, directly mirrored in his contrasting methods of production. Reason and emotion, black and white, the real and the imagined are placed side by side, revealing a symbiotic, though paradoxical, relation between binary oppositions. By utilizing traditional methods of art production such as drawing, Chivers demonstrates the reliance of advanced technological processes on traditional art skills to freeze in time and space what digital technology cannot capture. In doing so Chivers emphasizes his interest in the cognitive processes involved in the act of perception. His fascination for cloud-like structures and crystalline elements is evoked through a psychological perception of reality in which materials form and concepts are not only infused with vitality, but also brought into a realm of harmony and balance.
Mat Chivers was born in Bristol in 1973. He studied Fine Arts, Sculpture at The Nottingham Trent University and the Escuela des Belles Artes, in Barcelona, Spain. He has exhibited extensively throughout the UK including the Royal Academy of Arts. Solo shows include ?Mat Chivers: Sculpture + Drawings? at the Study Gallery of Modern Art and 'Incunabula' at Buckland Abbey. His work is part of numerous private and public collections across Europe and the United States including The Fitzwilliam Museum and the Mochary Collection. The artist lives & works in Devon, UK.
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