Matilda Sutton works between painting, drawing, sculpture and textiles. Her practice is a form of storytelling through image and object. Drawing from posthumanist and feminist philosophies, myth, literary and historical narratives, but also from being a creature, her inquiry is into how we categorise our world and ourselves.
Sutton is interested in complicating the boundaries of what our culture tells us about who and what we are. Playing with binaries and conceptual dualisms, her practice takes ‘gender’ and ‘species' in its hands to prod and poke them. Taking symbols as tools, it is a kind of wayfinding, charting a journey through the dark, misty places in between. Rooted in both archetypal, cultural narratives and personal experience and embodiment, the resulting imagery often features beings somewhere between humanness and animalness. In paintings and drawings these creatures are engaged in actions and glances. Living alongside them are sculptural works, embellished with or imitating, tools and implements, body parts and objects.
‘Dissolution’ is a new body of work that turns to the boundaries of ‘body’ and ‘self’, asking how we conceive of our wholeness, or lack thereof, and negotiate our edges. The work considers the gap between the concept of the human and its body as a whole – singular and discrete, with the reality of it as a shifting, unbounded and porous organism.
Drawing from research into aspects of human culture such as washing, grooming and hygiene practices, clothing and textile production, these histories and related myth and folklore are interwoven with the personal and intimate. Ideas of cleanliness, purity, and ritual meet memories of physicality, religion, gender and sexuality.
Comprising paintings on paper, drawings and sculptural objects, Sutton’s creatures begin to don garments, shapeshift and engage with other beings. Objects and hangings wrought in cloth, clay and papier-mâché coexist, as if belongings, pets or artefacts.
Matilda Sutton was born in London in 1994 and is based in Newcastle upon Tyne. She graduated from Newcastle University in 2019. She participated in The NewBridge Project Collective Studio programme 2020-21. She has previously exhibited at Vane in the group exhibitions ‘Loose Time’, 2021, and ‘Jubilee’, 2022. Additional group exhibitions include ones at Turner Contemporary, Margate, BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, Gateshead, Quench, Margate, Newcastle Contemporary Art, Newcastle upon Tyne, and The Manchester Contemporary art fair. She was awarded a Newcastle University Final Year Student Prize in 2019, an a-n Artist Bursary in 2021 and was selected for the solo Newcastle Arcus Pride Art Show in 2023.
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Vane, Orbis Community, 65 High Street, Gateshead, NE8 2AP UK