Artist’s Statement

Matthew Swift makes paintings and artworks that move between traditional parameters marked by fabric over stretcher bars to the more open potential of the expanded field. Walking through a world in continual flux, in particular the landscape of the North Kent Coast, brings an overlapping of experiences and geographies to his work, encompassing the rural, industrial, agricultural, and urban. These contrasts of space and place are a critical starting point. He implements a non-observational approach, instead working obliquely and abstractly, discovering alternative resonances through his exploration of materials, surfaces, and colour. He stitches together disparate sections of painted material mapping and navigating a path through a patchwork of codes, clouds and signs.

He gained an MFA in studio art from NYU in 1999 where he interned for Amy Sillman. He has exhibited in New York, Philadelphia, Melbourne, London and Kent and shown extensively in group and two-person shows, including ‘Constructure’ at Standpoint Gallery and ‘Dialogue with DeKooning’ at RCA. He co-curated ‘24 Hours of Everything’ with Paula Stuttman for ‘Whitstable Biennale Satellite’ 2018. In 2014, he set up Ground Collective for which he has curated a series of exhibitions, most recently a week’s residency ‘Incubator of Ideas’ at APT Gallery (October 2020, during the pandemic) and consequently ‘Ground Work’, also at APT Gallery (October 2021). In 2008, he had a residency at the Florence Trust. He was shortlisted for the Chiara Williams SOLO Award (2018). His work is in private collections in Europe, United Kingdom, Australia, and the United States. His studio is currently in Whitstable, Kent.



2002-2003PGCE in Art and Design, Institute of Education, Bedford Way, London
1997-1999MFA in Studio Art, New York University, USA
1986-1989BA Theatre Design, Central/St Martins School of Art and Design, London
1984-1985Foundation Course, Central/St Martins School of Art and Design, London


May 2023‘EYE DOOR’, Safehouse 1, London SE15 3SN
March 2023‘Mud, for you’, Fitzrovia Gallery, London W1T 5EN
Jan 2023‘Bayside Local’, Brighton Town Hall, Victoria 3186, Australia
Dec 2022‘Small Works Art Prize’, Brunswick Street Gallery, Victoria 3065, Australia
Nov 2022‘Material Presence’ Part One, Fitzrovia Gallery, London W1T 5EN
July 2022‘Crouch End Tiger Hidden Banana’, North London Art Dialogue, Hornsey Library,
March 2022‘This Year’s Model Part One’ Studio1.1, Shoreditch, London E2.
Jan 2022‘In Formation’ Group Show, Thames Side Gallery, London SE18.
Nov 2021‘The Quick Brown Fox Jumps Over the Lazy Dog’. Online exhibition with Cohort Art.
Oct 2021‘Ground Work’ APT Gallery, Deptford, London SE8.
June 2021‘In Response’ Group Show, Nunnery Gallery, London E3.
Feb 2021‘In Absentia’ Online exhibition with Cohort Art.
Oct 2020‘Incubator of Ideas’ APT Gallery, Deptford, London SE8.
July 2019‘Colour Space’ group show, Pie Factory, Margate, Kent
March 2019‘By The Way’ group show, Lewisham Arthouse, London
June 201824 hours of everything, with Paula Stuttman, Whitstable Biennale Satellite, Whitstable Station, Kent
May 2018Chiara Williams Solo Award Finalists Exhibition, Cello Factory, London SE1
Nov 2017Winter Salon, Rye Creative Centre, Sussex
Aug 2017Summer Salon Angus Hughes Gallery London E5
Dec 2016Thames: The Artery of London, St Katharine Dock, London E1W
June 2016‘Amalgam’ new work as part of Whitstable Biennale Satellite, Kent
Oct 2015‘Things That Are There’ group show, Pie Factory, Margate, Kent
2013-2014Ongoing group shows at Frank, Whitstable, Kent
April 2012Group show at Maybe a Vole, King Henry’s Walk, London N1
Feb 2010‘Constructure’, with Simon Haddock at Standpoint Gallery, Hoxton, London
July 2009‘Paddington Puff’, at Tina We Salute You! King Henry’s Walk, London N1
April 2009Solo Show at Madame Lillie’s, Cazenove Rd, London N16
Sept 2008Illumini, group show, Crypt St Pancras, London NW1
July 2008Florence Trust, Residency Show, St Saviours Church, London N5
Aug 20071 Year Residency at Florence Trust, St Saviours Church, London N5
Nov 2006‘Piecing It Together’, solo show, The Barsbury, London N1
Nov 2005Group show, Candid Gallery, Islington, London N1
June 2004Group show, Candid Gallery, Islington, London N1
Jan 2002‘Pin It Down’, solo show, Linden Gallery, Melbourne, Australia
Dec 2001‘Nervous Energy’, solo show, West Space, Melbourne
Sept 2001‘Time and Place’, solo show, Landau Gallery, Melbourne
Jan 2001Group show, Landau Gallery, Melbourne, Australia
Jan 2001Postcard Show, Landau Gallery, Melbourne, Australia
Oct 2000‘Clouds of the Mediated World’, Wesley Douvos, Melbourne, Australia
June 2000‘Re-map’ Wesley Douvos, Melbourne, Australia
July 1999‘La Nina’ group show, Site Simpatico, New York
April 1999‘Sake’, group show, ES Vandam Gallery, SoHo, New York
May 1999‘Wrestling with Mary Shelley’, group show, Blohard Gallery, Philadelphia
Nov 1998‘Ports of Call’, Dean’s Office, NYU School of Education, New York
Sept 1998’24 Hours of Cable’, with Paula Stuttman, Rosenberg Gallery, New York
July 1996Group show, New Hoxton Studios, Whitechapel Open, Hoxton, London
Sept 1995Group show, New Hoxton Studios, Hoxton, London
June 1995Group show, City Lit, Business Design Centre, Islington, London
April 1995‘Dialogue with De Kooning’, group show, Tate ed dept, RCA, London
Dec 1994Group show, New Hoxton Studios, Hoxton, London
Sept 1994Arts Threshold Theatre, solo show, Paddington, London
June 1994Group show, New Hoxton Studios, Whitechapel Open, Hoxton, London


March 2019‘By The Way’, Lewisham Arthouse, London
June 2018‘24 hours of everything’, curated with Paula Stuttman, Whitstable Station, Kent
Oct 2015‘Things That Are There’, Pie Factory, Margate, Kent

Theatre Design

Aug 1993‘A Dance with my Memories’, Arts Threshold, Paddington, London
June 1993‘Sex and Violence at the Fantasy Café’, Arts Threshold, London
June 1992‘The True Story of Ah Q’, Soho Poly Theatre, London
Nov 1989Linbury Prize for Theatre Design, exhibition, Royal National Theatre