Matt Smith is interested in how history is a constantly selected and refined narrative that edits out marginalised histories and presents itself as a fixed and accurate account of the past. His practice often consists of site-specific interventions in museums (Queering the Museum, Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery 2010), historic houses (Unravelling the National Trust 2012-2014) and public collections (Other Stories, Leeds University Art Collection, 2012) using craft materials and techniques: infiltrating establishment organisations and shifting their – and their visitors’ – points of reference. Using techniques of institutional critique, artist intervention and re-appropriation, the familiar is made unfamiliar and power structures are brought to light. Smith’s use of craft, with its connotations of the amateur, accessibility and gender, and his exploitation of its place in the art world, mean that his pieces utilise mainstream culture and unsettle it, taking objects from their intended role and repurposing them in new situations – creating a visual ‘polari’. In 2014 Matt won the inaugural Young Masters Maylis Grand Ceramics Prize. His exhibitions include: Unravelling Uppark, The National Trust, 2014, Subversive Design, Brighton Museum and Art Gallery, 2013-14, Unravelling Nymans, Nymans House, The National Trust, 2012, Other Stories (solo show), Leeds University Art Collection, 2012, Queering the Museum (solo show), Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, 2010 and Milk (solo show), ASPEX, Portsmouth, 2010. From October 2015 – April 2016 Matt will be Artist in Residence at the V&A’s ceramics galleries. Matt has undertaken an AHRC-funded PhD at the University of Brighton, titled Making Things Perfectly Queer: Art’s use of Craft to signify LGBT identities, following a Dip HE in Ceramics from City Lit, a BA-Hons from the University of Westminster in Ceramics, and MA Museum Studies from University of Leicester.He also talks regularly about his practice (Tate Modern, 2012, Valand Academy Gothenberg, 2012, Konstfack Stockholm 2015). ~ ink-d.co.uk
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