Matthew Karl Thomas MA Painting
My work focuses on the tradition of oil painting; broadly, within the realm of elusive or ambiguous abstraction. In my most recent work, I've looked at ideas of experimentation and systems within painting, often working in small series and applying pre-meditated sets of instructions to restrict decision making at the canvas. This has seen some compelling discoveries for me on the surface of the paintings, especially where gestural or intuitive brush marks have interacted with structural forms. I tend to apply paint with a kind of intentional back-and-forth: forming shapes before concealing them; countering delicate marks with aggressive ones; or defining colours and obscuring them in later applications. This dichotomy of working with strict rules - often geometries, patterns, and co-ordinates - whilst allowing the intuition of the artist and the agency of the brush work to still come through, has produced an interesting state of flux in the work. It's in the transitory, in-between moments - where there's an uncertainty or tension - that the most compelling parts of the work lie.