The work embodies the landscape through his unique process of collecting, processing and incorporating the local ochres as a ‘ground’. He sources the ochre from riverbeds and coastline deposits laid down during the last ice age.
Matthew’s working methods suggest the different time scales. In one, organic material from the landscape of North Clare is used and is allowed to behave naturally on the surface of the painting and in the other, the application of enamel material is more controlled and deliberate. In each painting the relationship between past and present is shown in the interplay between the natural colours of the clays and soils taken from this Irish landscape, and the shifting reflective light of the inorganic enamel material.
As Matthew explains “They explore how the physical geological landscape of the past relates to the unseen satellites, the fibre optic cables passing under our oceans, the information sphere of networks which orders our lives in new ways.” Each painting combines these two time related materials and examines how the physical and visual language of the past has evolved to that of the present. (Timeline – Amlíne. So Fine Art Editions, Dublin).