Left Cultures issue 1

Always nice to see work in print. Here’s my illustration for David Goldblatt’s ‘Season Ticket on the London Underground’ in the first edition of @leftcultures

Left Cultures delves into the left’s cultural past to discuss gems of storytelling within film, literature, music, art and poetry. Buy a copy here… https://leftcultures.com/Shop

Left Cultures

Season Ticket on the London Underground – an illustration for the first edition of Left Cultures, out now.

The illustration is a response to a piece by David Goldblatt about traveling across London on the Underground as a schoolboy and how this exposed him to alternative perspectives beyond the suburbs.

Left Cultures includes some of my absolute favourite illustrators and it’s a privilege to have contributed to this publication. Thanks to Phil Wrigglesworth and Column Leith from UWE for putting this all together with so many amazing voices.

There is a limited print run of 1000 copies. Buy one from the Left Cultures shop before they are all gone… https://leftcultures.com/Shop

3×3 International Illustration Awards

I’m so pleased to have received this Merit award!

The 3×3 Magazine International Illustration awards for my work in the Courage & Strength issue of Beneficial Shock, 2021. The three illustrations I created will be published alongside all the winners in the 3×3 International Illustration Annual No.19.

Many thanks to Charles Hively all the judges and to Beneficial Shock! AD Phil Wrigglesworth.

Being Brent – Private View

A few images from the opening of the “Being Brent” exhibition at Brent Museum and Archives.

“Stop.Look.Listen.” will inhabit The Exhibition Space on the second floor of the Willesden Library until the 20th of January, 2023.

Commission supported by the Arts Council England and the National Lottery Heritage Fund.

A big thank you to Rebecca Thompson, Camilla Churchill and James Ward.

Smriti Mehra and Matt Lee, 2022

Being Brent exhibition

Over the past few months Smriti Mehra and I have been working on a commission for Brent Museum and Archives. Our project celebrates Brent’s green spaces and will be featured as part of ‘Being Brent’ – an exhibition running from 30th June 2022 – 20th January 2023, supported by the Arts Council England and the National Lottery Heritage Fund.

Stop. Look. Listen.

This art project highlights a selection of Brent’s green spaces – Barham Park, Fryent Country Park, Gladstone Park, King Edward VII Park, Roundwood Park and Welsh Harp.

Parks are public spaces. While everyone has access to them they also serve as sites of deeply personal significance. The project invites people to share these personal perspectives to make visible the varied nature of how they serve us, as well as denoting a commonality of our lived experience.

As visitors navigate their way through these green spaces that enrich our bustling, cosmopolitan city, they are confronted with a variety of sign boards. These include signs that elucidate the history of the space, give directions, have maps or simply tell you what’s allowed or disallowed in the space. While restrictions in these spaces might seem prohibitive and at times odd, they are fundamental to the collective responsibility required to protect and conserve these natural habitats. “Stop. Look. Listen” emphasizes this importance. Signs obscure views and it is through these signs that we reflect on the details and nuances of what they serve to do.

Matt Lee & Smriti Mehra, 2022

WORDplay Exhibition. Fringe Arts Bath

Drawings from my Runcible series are featured in WORDplay – an exhibition at 44AD artspace, curated by Geoff Dunlop for Fringe Arts Bath between the 7th May-12th June.

‘Runcible’ is a nonsense word often believed to have been invented by Edward Lear in 1871. When Lear uses this word, it forms a semantic gap within his poetry that can never be satisfactorily resolved by the reader – though the word seems to suggest a meaning, we have no idea what. The nonsensicality of this word is further compounded when used by Lear as an adjective to describe disparate nouns: a runcible spoon, raven, cat, wall, hat and goose. 

This series of drawings explore Lear’s runcible through a variety of disparate situations, scenarios, possible and impossible contexts. Through this continual process of contextual shifting the word suggests a multitude of meanings that conflict or contradict. The result is nonsense.

Beneficial Shock Issue 6

I have created three illustrations for the new Courage & Strength issue of Beneficial Shock magazine.

The article ‘Us Chickens: The Case for Movie Cowards’ was written by Jez Conolly and was a lot of fun to interpret. Thanks to Art Director Phil Wrigglesworth and Gabriel Solomons for inviting me to contribute and for giving me a very open brief.

The latest issue can be ordered from here: https://www.beneficialshock.com/shop/