Matthew J Watkins, UK / by Peter Haynes

Matthew J Watkins, UK

The artist created work for Longbridge Light Festival 2014 & 2016.

For 2014's festival Watkins was inspired by Carl Sagan's intergalactic documentary 'Cosmos: A Personal Voyage'. He used low fi OHP's to project handmade painted slides within an empty retail unit in Longbridge. In 2016 the artist once again transformed an unusual space in Longbridge Town Centre, this time he converted the Marks & Spencer window display area through a series of projections.

Inspired by modernism, concrete, anomie and chance creation techniques, Matthew J Watkins works with photography, light projection, motion graphics and animation. He has been working with live performance visuals, utilising original art work and moving image content created using a variety of techniques including paint, photography, stop-motion, drawing and hand-built miniatures.

The artist formed the Beat13 collective in his hometown of Birmingham in 1999 as a way to encourage the collaboration of artists and musicians. A homemade website led to independent exhibitions and a gallery in Birmingham.

For 10 years he worked as a designer for the platinum-selling animated-band Gorillaz with Jamie Hewlett, coaching the team that helped him win designer of the year 2006.

Matthew frequently collaborates with painter Lucy McLauchlan, sometimes under the moniker of Beat13 with which they have forged an independent path in the arts.

He has presented talks, discussions and workshops, and worked with numerous international arts organisations including, Victoria and Albert Museum, Lazarides, KAB, Library St, Capsule, De La Warr and the Library of Birmingham.

Currently living and working in Birmingham, UK