Matthew Simpson is a Yarraville-based artist with a hidden disability who lives and works on the sovereign, unceded lands of the Boon Wurrung and Woi Wurrung people of the Kulin Nation. He has painted for many years, primarily exploring the visual element of line.

    “I was born in Brisbane and grew up in Tasmania but moved to Spotswood in 1996 and have lived in West Footscray as well. As a child, I developed a passion for art, which translates into creating, looking and talking about art”. 

    Matthew was influenced by the Surrealist art movement’s project of automated art that directly taps into the subconscious, as well as the expressionist, surrealist and abstract art of Paul Klee, Jackson Pollock and Ian Fairweather. 

    “I’ve always loved the words of Paul Klee who famously said ‘A drawing is simply a line going for a walk’ and ‘A line is a dot that went for a walk’.”

    Matthew left Tasmania to study fine art at the Victorian College of the Arts in the 1980s, moving to the west in 1996 and living in various suburbs before settling into his current Yarraville apartment.

    “There are heaps of artists here in the west. I’m part of RedWest Creatives Co-op Limited which is a cooperative for creatives and artists in Melbourne’s western suburbs. It’s a small, vibrant and growing group of creatives at all levels of experience. I currently hold the Grants and Funding role on the board. As far as commercial galleries in the west go, there are far fewer here than in the east. Maybe that presents an opportunity for a budding entrepreneur?”.

    In 2022, Matthew was a finalist in the Wyndham Art Prize and had a solo show at the Dax Centre.

    “RedWest connected me to Wunder Gym, a mentoring initiative by Annette Wagner, that pairs up artists with mentors to create art on a theme. Wyndham council is very supportive. I have entered the Footscray Art Prize this year, so fingers crossed on that count”. 

    Matthew is presently painting for an exhibition that will be held at One Star Gallery in West Melbourne in May 2023 with the assistance of a grant from the City of Melbourne. Aleatory Paintings is the title and the exhibition features new paintings of randomly accrued lines with random titles of geological features that are not represented by the contents of the painting.

    “Aleatory, in common terms, means random. More specifically, it means dependence on the throw of a dice or on chance, and can relate to music or other forms of art involving elements of random choice (sometimes using statistical or computer techniques) during their composition, production, or performance. The exhibition title itself is pretty random!”. 

    When Matthew is not painting, you can find him at his favourite local haunts like Cruickshank Park, the Sun Theatre, Cafe Terroni and the Corner Shop, and West Art Supplies in Buckley Street, Footscray. 

    Exhibition: Aleatory Paintings
    Where: One Star Lounge and Gallery
    301–303 Victoria St, West Melbourne 3003
    When: Exhibition opening
    6–8pm, Friday 5 May 2023
    Exhibition runs 3 May to 20 May
    Gallery hours: Wednesday–Friday 3–7pm, Saturday 1–7pm
    Gallery contact: 0432 357 537

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