In October, artist Matt Stokes produced a new series of works for major visual arts project We The People Are The Work. Taking over contemporary art venues across Plymouth, six international artists took part, each creating works for their selected space. We were excited to host artist Matt Stokes’ multi-screen film at The Gallery, poignantly exploring punk’s legacy of protest and resistance, whilst charting the decline of live music venues in the city.
To find out about the exhibition, we sat down for a chat with exhibiting artist, Matt Stokes – watch it now above.
Filmed and edited by Round One Films Ltd – run by BA (Hons) Film graduates Robert Marshall and Aden Barwick.
Matt begins with an immersive research process that explores the social structures of the place he is working in, resulting in the production of films, installations and events.
Stokes filmed local bands including The Bus Station Loonies, Crazy Arm, Suck My Culture and The Damerals, performing in musically significant locations across the city including the former Van Dike club on Exmouth Road and the site where Woods nightclub used to be (now the Billabong store at Drake Circus mall).
These outcomes hold collaboration at the centre of both their formation and philosophy, often being made directly with people from the collectives they are celebrating.
Exhibitions Manager Hannah Rose said, “Matt Stokes' new commission 'More Than A Pony Show' poignantly focusses on an important aspect of Plymouth's music scene, deals with the impact of regeneration in the city and platforms the talents of five local Plymouth bands.
“The nature of a project like this takes a large number of people to get involved, be part of the process of making the work and ultimately, for the bands, to be the artwork itself. We're really grateful to everybody who took part in the making of this work and to Matt for his ambitious and generous approach to making this project.”