An artist’s musings on time and chance


    By Matthew Simpson

    I am a Yarraville-based artist with a hidden disability living and working on the sovereign, unceded lands of the Boon Wurrung and Woi Wurrung people of the Kulin Nation. I have made art all my life primarily exploring the visual element of line.

    Born in Brisbane to a Victorian family I grew up in Tasmania and as a child, developed a passion for art, which translates into a love of creating, looking and talking about art.

    I left Tasmania to study fine art at the Victorian College of the Arts in the 1980s and moved to the west in 1996 because it was affordable. I’ve lived in various suburbs but am now settled in my Yarraville apartment. Melbourne’s west is a great match for me. I like a less hectic pace and have found a community of like-minded residents. There are so many great amenities within walking distance. When I am not painting, you can find me at my favourite local haunts like Cruickshank Park, the Sun Theatre, Cafe Terroni and the Corner Shop, and West Art Supplies in Buckley Street, Footscray.

    I was a member of Maribyrnong River Edge Artist Movement, an artist co-op, with a fine history of exhibitions and a long varied list of membership until it folded during the pandemic. It has transformed into irregular drawing sessions for a small group which I enjoy attending. I’m also a board member of RedWest Creatives Co-op Limited, an artist community showcasing the talent of western suburbs artists. 

    I prefer having my studio at home as it means I can jump in at any time and don’t have to make a specific trip to get there. This room that I paint in has a window allowing good natural light and overlooks the house next door. I also create art on the dining table, and for screen-based interactives, that I call Diversions, I use my computer in the lounge. In fact there are artworks stacked throughout my home; there is no escaping my art anywhere in the entire apartment.

    I am presently painting for two exhibitions. Chance Paintings to be held at One Star Gallery in West Melbourne in May 2024. Time Paintings will be held at No Vacancy Gallery in the CBD in July 2024 with the assistance of a grant from the City of Melbourne. The works in this exhibition date from 1999 to the present. Christmas is a huge colourful painting that was created in 1999 in Spotswood representing a stylistic breakthrough and will be available for viewing in a public gallery for the first time. 

    Chance Paintings

    One Star Lounge and Gallery,
    301–303 Victoria St,
    West Melbourne 

    9 May to 26 May 2024

    Time Paintings

    No Vacancy Gallery,
    34–40 Jane Bell Lane,
    QV Building, Melbourne

    16 July to 27 July 2024 

    Featured image: Ruben Bull-Milne, Christmas by Matthew Simpson, 1999, oil on canvas 1560mm x 2515mm

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