Joanne Matthews is a queer artist based in Edinburgh, working collaboratively across performance, audio, video, installation, photography, and drawing. Their projects are often context-dependent, responding to locations and social-political contexts. Their work is shaped through ongoing research into deep ecology.
Recent artworks range from performance scores mapping the movements of birds to a multi-channel sound installation communicating with sea life to a short comedic film about the violence and absurdity 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 often site-responsive and involves embodied fieldwork alongside a studio practice to create gestural works. My work is intimate, capturing the complexities and emotions to tell a ‘story’, often with humour, eeriness, and sensuality.
Joanne received a VACMA 2021 Award to start research on a collection of sonic sculptures. Recent commissions include For Portobello, 2050, for Art Walk Porty 2021 (Edinburgh), When are you going to cut the grass? 2020 for IUCN World Conservation Conference (Marseille) and Wild Philosophy, 2018 part of DIY by Live Art Development Agency (London) and Chapter Arts Centre (Cardiff).
They have been an artist in residence at Edinburgh Sculpture Workshop (Edinburgh), Burnieshed (Bamff, Perthshire) and Scottish Sculpture Workshop (Aberdeen) as part of their open access programme. Their sound art has been played across artist-led radio stations including Radiophrenia, NTS, As if radio and EHFM where they have a regular show.
Alongside their artist practice, Joanne is dedicated to supporting artists' development, working for the past ten years as a curator, producer, and researcher leading and producing artists’ projects, across visual art, performance art, dance, and socially engaged practice.
Furthermore at the core of my practice, is a thirst for peer learning through facilitating artist-led research groups for collaborators and peers which feed a growing need for safe and free spaces for artists to support each other and offer critique.
From 2018 to 2019 I set up and co-facilitated a research group Art is Action (Do It Together) at Somerset House Studios, a social practice research group led by UK-based artists and producers.