Matthew Bray is a well known artist in the Medway area. He kindly spoke to Creatabot to tell us a little more about himself and his background.
So Matthew how long have you been an artist for now?
Well I’ve always been a doodler and as a young man I dabbled in poetry and music. I began painting about 15 years ago when I met an artist called Owen Davies who encouraged me to just ‘go for it’ and then I met Billy Childish about 4 or 5 years ago and decided to take it seriously – so I quit my job, sold my house and began painting full time.
Did you study any creative subjects?
I applied for art college when I first left school but was rejected which was quite a blow, but after working for years and years in banking; painting every night in a garden studio I decided to reapply. I was accepted and got my degree last summer. I am now studying MA Fine Arts at Kent Uni, the campus is in Chatham Dockyard and I have a huge studio overlooking the river and battleships outside my window. I love it.
How much of what you do has been self taught?
Well, I am largely self-taught. Technically my painting style comes from looking at artists I admire and just finding my own right way of doing things. At college I have learnt a lot about art theory and conceptual problems; the backbone of what contemporary artists must now think about, but they no longer teach ‘how to paint’ which on reflection is a good thing because you get to work that out for yourself, so your style can become your own.
Who is your favourite local artist and all time favourite artist?
Well I’d say Billy Childish is my local hero, I’ve been into his work since I was a teenager, but there are many others – Owen Davies is a great friend and collaborator and I’ve always loved his approach to the work he makes. Outside of Medway I am chiefly inspired by the London School painters, the Bay Area Figurative movement, and Marlene Dumas is great too.
Who really inspires you?
I quite like Jesus. And buddha. I think they were both inspiring chaps. Also the Dalai Lama.
What would you really like to learn in the future?
I’ve always wanted to learn how to play the Piano and to master space and time.
Can you recommend a creative website you love?
I’ll give you a couple…
www.ubu.com – an online horde of avant-garde material.
www.facebook.com/artaddict1 art links added daily.
http://mbray.tumblr.com/ – my art blog.
www.mungbeing.com – an underground art magazine.
Thank you so much Matthew for telling us some more about yourself.
You can find out more about Matthew through his Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/mattbrayart
Matthew has the following exhibitions coming up this year-
- “Un-identified” March 9th – March 15th at the Horsebridge Centre, Whitstable.
- “Medway Printmakers” May 9th – May 29th at the Deaf Cat, Rochester