Matthew Richardson


Work shown as part of ‘Adaptation’ at Transition Gallery, June 2016.
Link to film on Vimeo
‘Am I The Island’ 2016. Still from 5 minute experimental film developed from JG Ballard’s novel ‘Concrete Island’.

Press Release: Matthew Richardson shows versions of J.G. Ballard’s Concrete Island and Daniel Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe. In an attempt to construct and survive in these fictional landscapes, Matthew has found and used flotsam and jetsam and tools and technologies from both the physical world and the internet. Images of otherwise mundane objects - a tyre, some potatoes, a cigarette lighter and a few sticks of wood - slowly render the landscape of ‘the Island’ in both Ballard’s twentieth century and Defoe’s eighteenth century novels. Matthew places the viewer, as main protagonist in a new Balladian landscape, that of Google Street View, while Defoe’s story is seen through fragmented images, in what appear to be the few surviving magic lantern slides of a once complete story. Transition Website

I explore how objects and images become significant through recognition or mis-recognition and through changes in context. I am interested in alternative histories, social myths and half-hidden stories. I am interested in the relationship between fact and fiction (and what might occupy the space between). My practice and research derive from exploring and exploiting found imagery, objects and historic and fictional moments that are re-purposed to provoke questions of ‘believability’ and authenticity. I am looking at how images and ideas become shared, and culturally significant. Many of the images on these pages show ongoing series (or concerns) and much of the work is explored across forms - object-book-print-film. I often create work in shifting sets or sequences, which fall towards a ‘narrative’ reading.
Matthew’s work engages with staging and artifice, the future possibilities of objects and images alongside the potential histories that they carry. The work rests on the edge of possibility. It also deals with nostalgia, but without the melancholic edge, rather it is a re-invention or re-invigoration. The work functions as a graphic depiction of imaginative projection; reality is a malleable and flexible thing. Anthony Shapland, g39, Cardiff