Using a scrupulous method of capture, Matthew’s work looks to alter our view of familiar habitats as conscious retrospections in Fine Art Photography. His creative vision captures a calm and melancholic disposition in the landscape evoking an emotional response from within. Environments are appraised as simple, clean, and graphic impressions, and convoluted vistas are reduced to modest visions of wistful clarity. Purposefully devoid of people and any notable present-day objects, the images appear to have no concept of time. The discernibly banal metamorphosis into a perception of aesthetic beauty.
In his system of capture, the full depth of the scene is arrested in focus which lends a heightened sense of reality. Given each setting is deliberately mundane, the detail develops as a character of the image in itself. Each picture has the same dimension. Using the full size of the frame and restricting to this discipline is a deliberate digital reverence to large format film.
Matthew is based in Melbourne, Australia. Although born and raised in Bristol, England, the visuals of the United States has always been a major influence on his life. He grew up through the ’70s and ’80s in a typical middle-class suburb. Television and film were his favorite distraction, the majority of which came from the USA. The backdrop of the North American scenery felt like an exotic antidote to the English city suburbs and countryside. A keen illustrator, he spent hours pouring over the minutia of his subject with the aim to make them as close to reality as possible. This work saw him enrolled in college at a young age where he studied Graphic Design and Photography.
Drawing on his childhood memories, the American landscape has remained a major source of inspiration for his work. He is spirited by the North American photographers of the ’60s and ’70s, who were prevalent in using large format film. This laborious system of capture seemed to enhance the seemingly ordinary-looking street scenes with fastidious detail. Matthew discovered a more modern process in the form of a technical camera, digital back, and precision optics, then proceeded to cast his own journey.
Matthew’s work has garnered numerous international awards, received recognition in global press, and featured in multiple exhibitions across Australia, Europe, and the USA.
Lost America examines a quiet stillness in a forgotten landscape that is, in a sense: ‘on-pause’.
Backwater towns and rural corners are juxtaposed with the ambiguity of detached suburbia. Places appear frozen in time, their inhabitants absent or long since departed.
Ardently stagnant in their appearance, the images aim to unlock a moment of reflective contemplation and instil a melancholic feeling of familiarity.
One might not notice or acknowledge these spaces, especially when viewed within the vast stretch of America’s panorama. Yet, when framed as a single vignette, the places can appear to echo a moment of mournful reverie. Or, for some, they might behold an alluringly sombre impression.
All images © Matthew Portch
An Edge of Humanity Magazine Project
CURATOR | Joelcy Kay