Bio

I’m an artist and producer based at Rhubaba Gallery & Studios in Edinburgh, working collaboratively across performance, audio, video, installation, photography and drawing. I conduct continual embodied fieldwork and tune in to the constant becoming of places and ecologies, creating gestural works of art.

My artworks have ranged from performance scores mapping the movements of birds to a multi-channel sound installation communicating with a dying starfish travelling through space, to a short comedic film about the violence of mowing the lawn. I’m interested in leaning into and finding hope in, the darkness of the ecological crisis and the inseparable links between nature and culture. My work is intimate, and I open myself up to be vulnerable with the rest of nature through radical interventions.

Since 2010 I have worked with farmers and growers, activists and artists as well as art spaces and institutions. My film When are you going to cut the grass?, 2020 is to be screened at IUCN World Conservation Conference 2021 (Marseille); Wild Philosophy, 2018 took place at Capel y Craig, commissioned by Chapter Arts Centre (Cardiff) and LADA (London).

MURKY HORIZONS

Murky Horizons (2019-), is an interdisciplinary and expansive research project where I use deep listening, walks, field recordings and Speculative Fabulation. Engaging with my local beach, Wardie Bay in North Edinburgh which is predicted to be underwater by 2050, I am working with a landscape that has a time limit - it's a drowning beach. The following 4 works are part of this research.

A Drowning Out

2020

A series of 8 digital photographs. Part of Murky Horizons.

A Drowning Out 2020 Joanne Matthews
A Drowning Out 2020 Joanne Matthews
A Drowning Out 2020 Joanne Matthews
A Drowning Out 2020 Joanne Matthews
Cosmological Starfish

2021

15min (designed as a 5 channel sound installation)

This is an edited stereo version of the work, for the full piece head to my Soundcloud. Please listen with headphones.

Image: installation proposal

Cosmological Starfish pays homage to Not I (1973) by Samuel Becket by tapping into the subconsciouses of a human, a starfish and a beach expanding simultaneously in and out of time and space.

Part of Murky Horizons. Supported by a residency at The Burnished at Bamff Eco-Tourism in Perthshire.

Singing to the Seaweed

2021

Collaged score and EP

This is an edited preview of the work, for a full listen head to Bandcamp: https://joannematthews.bandcamp.com/releases

A collection of responses from invited artists to a collaged score (pictured) created for and with a drowning beach.

Tracklisting: 1. Nicholas Escobar - Singing to the Seaweed / 2. Ewan Pearce and Ezra Berrnico - A shell inside a shell / 3. Joanne Matthews - Singing to the Seaweed / 4. Joe Coghill - Cuppa

Part of Murky Horizons.

Murky Horizons: a drowning beach

2020

11min, This is an edited preview, for the full work head to my Soundcloud. Please listen with headphones.

Murky Horizons: a drowning beach, is a poem and performative audio piece comprising collected field recordings, spoken word and site-responsive singing.

Image below: Installation proposal, with the sound work amplified, incorporating a photograph from the photography series on a backlit screen.

Murky Horizons A Drowning Beach Joanne Matthews
AUDIO ESSAY
Sound Art: Meandering through ecological intimacy

2021, 13min audio essay

Please listen with headphones. For a reference list, visit my SoundCloud.

Meandering through Ecological Intimacy is an audio essay I created, detailing an approach to ecological intimacy amidst the right-wing government lock-down, exploring meandering and queer methodologies in sound art, weaving fieldwork and case studies. 

THE SHAPE OF DOOM

2021

Dip pen and ink on paper drawing series 210 x 148 mm

These diaristic, automatic drawings are a playful attempt to bring shape to unsettling feelings.

Images below: 2 framed works below have been selected from a series of 38 drawings. 

Subsequent images: A closer look at the works

The shape of doom 2021 Joanne Matthews
The shape of doom 2021 Joanne Matthews
The shape of doom 2021 Joanne Matthews
The shape of doom 2021 Joanne Matthews
The shape of doom 2021 Joanne Matthews
The shape of doom 2021 Joanne Matthews