The Temporally Ambiguous Art of Matthew Everatt

Interview The Arts


Matthew Everatt is an installation artist from the UK who embraces film as a means to affect our sense of reality. His work reflects a combination of moving images and photography, the result of an action or occurrence that he´s either staged or stumbled upon. The results are deceptive. Instead of studying the fine techniques of photography as an art form, Everatt prefers to play around with light and shadow, dimensions, and digital editing to create the desired effects. He has uses various cameras and film, including Polaroid, digital photography, and 35mm. The images are used as documentation rather than specifically the artwork, recording landscapes and interiors with a sense of nostalgia and non-specific history.


Everatt is interested in involving social media in future projects, therefore showing more photography in recent works – as “quick snaps” from a phone or digital camera, which he considers more of an unspecified journal. He draws inspirations for those future projects, which will be more sculptural, from some of his older photographs.


In the following, Everatt discusses five of his pieces with Laura Scheriau, The Mantle’s Arts & Culture editor.



Triumphal 1



The pieces in the “Triumphal” series focus on patterns and rhythms of light, within an architecturally familiar setting, abstract yet tangible. The shadows reflect echoes of past glories and display the pleasure of ruins, the past of an interior. This specific photo reminds Everatt of the etchings of Piranesi (structural erosion), the play of light in the paintings of Turner, or the abstract incompleteness in some of Rothko’s oeuvre, which was intended to be housed in a chapel. The organ as an instrument has an emphatically dynamic tone, which in this striking image is almost made visible through the play of light and shadow. 



Triumphal 2



The question of the connectivity of light and shadow has a recurrence within Everatt´s practice, linking the pieces together. First there is darkness, until the light emerges and shadows appear. “Triumphal” shows the artist´s religious triptych, unintentional, as he had not yet made overtly political or personal statements within his series. At least within a gothic tradition or context, the religious aspect seems palpable.



House, from the Cold Fictions series



The whole “Cold Fictions” series consists of the opaque and obscured. Everatt himself was born in December, a winter creature. He is interested in what lies within Caspar David Friedrich’s paintings and his landscapes, with ruins and figures atop of mountains, the notion of the survival contesting nature – an eternal struggle and how it relates to questions of infinity – coinciding as a philosophical poetry. Taking a romantic view, everything is prettier in snow due to the evocative associations: the coldness it provides, the changes to the environment, winter as a season of simultaneous gloom and delight.



Subject to Change Without Notice



This piece serves as a suggested statement on freedom and importance of context. All interpretation lies within the mind and eye of the beholder, drawing from their lives, experiences, fantasy, and imagination.






The book that was produced for Boom featured photographs and contributions from associates, examining the nature of “Boom,” one of which pondered Does endeavour, end ever? The road leads to “Boom” and all that implies. One person’s rubbish could be another person’s joy. Boom stemmed from an energy and was made possible through a communal effort - it all fell into place. The project “Boom” formed Everatt´s solo show, part expedition, part fundraising for charity. It depicted notions of travel and events surrounding a 500 miles trip which began with a fixation on the word “Boom,” leading to a pilgrimage.



Ex Arte, Sculpture