‘diep~haven’ is a cross-channel festival of visual art which takes place annually in East Sussex, UK and Normandy, France, rooted in the towns of Newhaven and Dieppe. 2018 promises to be the festival’s widest ranging programme to date and the will increase the festival’s geographic reach with artist residencies, exhibitions, engagement projects and participatory events taking place from Brighton to Rye in East Sussex, and from Dieppe to Yvetot in Normandy.
Residencies plus a public talks and events begin in February 2018 and a full summer 2018 festival programme will be announced shortly, Terra Firma, this edition of ‘diep~haven’ takes the relationship between the human and the landscape as its starting point: discarding any assumptions of the earth as neutral ground. The festival will explore the tensions between human designs and the autonomous forms of intelligence that reside in the natural and, more specifically, botanic world.
Find out more about the Festival here
Matthew is our Artist-In-Residence as part of ‘diep~haven’ Festival 2018. He is on site a few days each month. When not at Charleston he is working on a Geography MA at Queen Mary, University of London and also works part-time at City and Guilds of London Art School in Kennington, teaching and as a research fellow in the printmaking department. He moved to the UK from the US (Orlando, Florida) in September of 2015 to pursue an MFA at University College London’s Slade School of Fine Art (with an undergraduate degree in photography). Currently pursuing an MA at Queen Mary as preparation to pursue a Geography PhD project studying the historical and contemporary practices of producing and consuming gelatine. This interest was born out of using gelatine as a tool within art making and photography.
Previous projects have included MFA (entitled Prospect for the More-Than-Human). The project involved a walking methodology in which he wandered a site, responding to its architecture and living human and nonhuman inhabitants. While wandering, his movements were traced using a GPS program and the track was then inverted, which created a series of empty spaces within the form. Below are two sketches of a previous work showing the before and after inversion. The white lines are the original track of the wandering and when inverted they became negative space on the wall while new empty positive space is created from the lines’ interiors, seeing this space as an act of decentring human action within a landscape – allowing a more active space in which the landscape is foregrounded – for considering how human actions frame and affect the environments we inhabit.
“I became interested in the residency opportunity here at Charleston for three major reasons: it provides (1) an opportunity to further this work within the context of this year’s ‘diep~haven’ festival unpacking human-botanical relationships at differing scales, (2) a chance to develop relationships with different people and institutions throughout the process, and (3) a time and space to engage with the archival material and historicity associated with Charleston. In addition to learning about the history of Charleston and Bloomsbury more generally, I am particularly excited about working with the garden archives because it is a perfect first opportunity to engage with artmaking in a way that is directly informed by historical materials.”
“Currently, I am gathering physical and conceptual materials from the garden and archives. When not at Charleston I am at the moment making tests and sketches from these materials such as plant-based dyes, photographs from alternative pigments such as clay from the pond, and scanning and generating charcoal/graphite rubbings from various plants within the garden. Most recently I have ordered some wool, which I will begin to make test prints on these various photographs and rubbings using the natural dyes as pigment. For the next month or so I will continue these tests and sketches, the results of which will often be posted on my Instagram used for research documentation (instagram.com/matthewjbeach). After this initial period of experimentation and fine tuning, I will continue to collect material from Charleston during my visits for the production of artworks, contextualise the projects within Charleston’s contemporary programming, historical roots and contemporary art more broadly, and develop and carry out a public engagement activity.”
We will post updates of Matthew’s work and details of any talks, presentations and the final project here in due course this year.
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