Heather Matthew – 12th April to 29th April 2019
Artform – Papermaker and mixed media artist
I am a papermaker and mixed media artist whose work explores material and environmental resonance, vibrations both visible and invisible which connect humans with each other and the non human world. These are expressed through prints, artist books and multi media installations.
My existing papermaking practice primarily uses banana plant fibre as well as recycled cotton, linen and hemp clothing. These papers are determined by my current projects, including community paper and print workshops. I am drawn to projects which explore interconnection, between people, places and the cosmos.
Paper is itself an active material, providing its own sounds and images. I interact with paper through making it, handling it, walking on it, printing on it, moulding it into forms or entering into a collaboration with the material and environment to create marks.
For many years I created a small paper collage every day, stitching scraps of paper and paper ephemera like train tickets, torn posters, old prints and repurposed book pages onto a 10cm square piece of paper. A year of these stitched collages was exhibited at the Tweed Regional Art Gallery in Murwillumbah in 2011.
More recently I have recorded sounds made during the process of making paper and the subsequent images created from playing these sounds into water. As an offshoot of this research I am now focused on translating the sounds of birdsong and human speech into visual graphics and incorporating these into woven paper artist books.
Kneading and crinkling handmade paper using a Japanese momigami technique has extended my paper art into 3D forms which are also an exciting new direction for my arts practice.
I am looking forward to interacting with the people and desert flora of central Australia to create a stitched and momigamied paper rug connecting fibre, people and the local environment. I am also especially looking forward to being in residence at the same time as another fibre artist, to share ideas and to learn about papermaking with the papermakers of Curtain Springs. This will give me a great opportunity to experience how Australian native grasses can be incorporated into my own work.