Matthew Draper

Born in Stone, Staffordshire in 1973. Studied Walsall College of Art 1991-92 and then Falmouth College of Arts BA(hons) Fine Art from 1992-95. Moved to Scotland in 1997. He now lives and works in Edinburgh.
Working in pastel, Matthew is drawn to the drama and grandeur of landscapes. In particular the impact changing light has on both the landscape and the viewers mood and interpretation of the experience. Achieving this through a very hands on style – “My work is made with an intense and energetic immediacy, working instinctively rather than methodically, keeping me physically and emotionally involved in the process. I crush soft pastel in my hands rubbing the dust into the paper in wide sweeps of colour gradually manipulating the material to build up a thick layered surface using the ball of my thumb, the heal of my hand and my forearms.”

He has had many solo exhibitions across the UK including the Open Eye Gallery in Edinburgh, Lemon Street Gallery, Truro and Beaux Arts, Bath. He has won numerous awards most recently in 2016 with the Charles Pears Award, Royal Society of Marine Artists, Mall Galleries, London. His work is widely held in collections both private and public including City of Edinburgh, City Art Centre, Glasgow Museum & Art Gallery, Kelvingrove, Paintings in Hospital Scotland and Bank of Scotland, Edinburgh amongst many more.

Artist Statement

I am interested in and influenced by the dramatic imagery of Eighteenth and Nineteenth Century painting. I admire the idea of the contemplation of landscape in the Romantic spirit, found in the work of the German Romantics like Casper David Frederick and the notion of the grandeur of the landscape as expressed in the work of the American Subliminal Painters like Sanford Robinson Gifford and Frederic Edwin Church. These artists adopted the term ‘Luminism’, defined as light in the landscape and the effect that light has on the landscape and objects within it.

As a contemporary artist choosing to adopt this approach to light in the landscape, my interest is not to make straight forward topographical images that are illustrations of place. Instead I am attempting to make imagery that is descriptive of the circumstances under which the subject is viewed; images which convey a sense of place. The drawings are emotional reactions to events and experiences evolving in front of me; events happening or about to happen. The images become like fading memories or captured moments in time. The making of the work is in itself as set of actions and events which creates a harmony between my process and my interpretation of the subject.

Awards

2016 Charles Pears Award, Royal Society of Marine Artists, Mall Galleries, London.
2015 Henry Roche Award, Pastel Society, Mall Galleries, London.
2013 Orrin Trust Award, National Open Art Exhibition, Royal College of Art London Touring the UK
2012 Pan Pastels Award, Pastel Society, Mall Galleries, London.
2011 Visitors Choice Award, National Art Open Exhibition, Chichester.
2011 Regional Prize, National Open Art Exhibition, Chichester.
2011 Elected member of The Pastel Society UK, Federation of British Artists, Mall Galleries, London.
2010 City of Glasgow Prize, Royal Glasgow Institute of the Fine Arts.
2010 Buzzacot Award, Pastel Society, Mall Galleries, London.
2010 Annie Longley Memorial Award, Pastel Society, Mall Galleries, London.
2010 Connell and Connell Prize, Scottish Society of Artists, Royal Scottish Academy, Edinburgh.
2009 Scottish Gallery Award, Visual Arts Scotland, City Arts Centre, Edinburgh.
2008 Shell Premier Award, Aberdeen Artists, Aberdeen Museum and Art Gallery.
2007 Chairman’s Purchase Prize, Discerning Eye Exhibition, London.
2007 Anthony J Lester Art Critic Award, Pastel Society, Mall Galleries, London.
2006 John Murray Thomson Award, Royal Scottish Academy.
2006 Cross Gate Gallery Award, Kentucky USA Pastel Society, Mall Galleries, London.
2004 Contemporary Fine Art Gallery Award, Paisley Art Institute.
2004 Most popular work in the exhibition, Hunting Art prizes.
2002 City of Glasgow Prize, Royal Glasgow Institute of the Fine Arts.
2001 Commendation Aberdeen Artists.
2000 Alexander Graham Munro Travel Award, Royal Scottish Society of Painters in Watercolour.

Collections

Bank of Scotland.
City of Edinburgh, City Art Centre, Jean F Watson Bequest Fund.
Glasgow Museum and Art Gallery, Kelvin Grove Glasgow.
Paintings in Hospitals Scotland.
Turcan Connell, Edinburgh and London.
Dundas Global, Edinburgh.
Walter Scott and Partners, Edinburgh.
Premier Property Group, Edinburgh.
Morton Frazer Solicitors, Edinburgh.
Various Private Collections; Australia, New Zealand, Canada Europe and the USA. Commissioned by The Morton Street Gallery, London for the Caledonia Hotel, Edinburgh.

Solo Exhibitions

2015 'From Metropolis to Wilderness, Lemon Street Gallery, Truro.
2014 'Eilean a Cheo', Open Eye Gallery, Edinburgh.
2013 ' Northern Light', Lemon Street Gallery, Truro.
2012 'Time Lapse , Open Eye Gallery, Edinburgh.
2011 ‘New Pastels’, Beaux Arts, Bath.
2010 ‘Festival Exhibition’, Open Eye Gallery. Edinburgh.
2009 ‘Nocturnes’ Beaux Arts, Bath.
2009 ‘In Series’, Lemon Street Gallery, Truro.
2008 ‘Luminism’, Open Eye Gallery, Edinburgh.
2007 ‘January Light’, Lemon Street Gallery, Truro, Cornwall.
2006 ‘Time and Place’, Beaux Arts, Bath.
2006 ‘Seven Hills’ The Open Eye Gallery, Edinburgh.
2005 ‘Nostalgia’, Lemon Street Gallery, Truro, Cornwall.
2004 ‘Panorama’ Beaux Arts, Bath.
2004 ‘Old Town’, The Open Eye Gallery, Edinburgh.
2002 ‘Atmosphere and Twilight’, The Open Eye Gallery, Edinburgh.
2000 ‘Night Life’, The Open Eye Gallery, Edinburgh.
1999 The Reynolds Gallery, Edinburgh.