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Posted 13.09.19

Matthew Raw talks Tactile Change with the BBC

By Phillip Buchan

This September, The Gallery will host Tactile Change, the second solo show by ceramic artist Matthew Raw, exploring themes of migration, progress and borders in the post-Brexit landscape – and a response to the history of Plymouth Zoo.

Matthew sat down with Sarah Gosling from BBC Radio Devon to chat about the exhibition, which runs from 20 September to 16 November 2019.

You can listen to the interview in full until 28 September 2019, finding out more about the artist’s previous exhibitions, the reason that he works in clay, and why he chose to work in The Gallery for his second solo show.

During the interview, Matthew tells Sarah: “I first came to Plymouth College of Art three years ago to do a day’s teaching and was really, really impressed with the facilities there. A bit of a sad story about ceramics education in particular, but art education in Britain in general, is that lots of departments have been closed down and are still being closed down because they are quite expensive to run.

“Short term decisions are being made to shut the ceramics departments (at other institutions) because it’s easier to put students in with their laptops and then everything’s clean and there’s no need for technicians. There are a lot fewer options to study ceramics now than when I was younger.

“But then I arrived at Plymouth College of Art, and there were glass-blowing facilities and brilliant technicians and there was space… It was so refreshing, totally bucking the trend of what’s happening in Britain in general.”

Matthew’s work uses tile and clay to explore how human landscapes evolve with communities that inhabit them. His first solo exhibition in 2017, ‘Clad’, looked at the social evolution of East London. Now the artist turns his eyes – and his hands – to Plymouth, where interprets the story of the city, and its short-lived zoo, in clay.

Through ceramic tiles, block-printed clay and monumental works, Tactile Change uses the story of the zoo as the starting point to examine society’s understanding of progress and the individual’s response to change.

Join us for the preview evening on Thursday 19 September, 5-7pm with free refreshments and a first look at the exhibition. 

Can't make the opening? Don't worry the show runs until Saturday 16 November 2019.

Tactile Change is commissioned by The Gallery at Plymouth of Art in partnership with The Box. The project is supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England. Explore Matthew's work at http://mraw.co.uk.

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