Featured Artist: Matthew Laurence
When acquaintances and students ask Matthew Laurence how he ended up in the field of Art, his response is with one word: ‘glue’. It stems from his father’s occupation as a purchasing agent to an adhesive company. At the start to each year in elementary school, Matthew’s father would send him to school with a few dozen bottles of glue to help supply the art class. During art lessons, the teacher praised Matthew on how wonderful his artwork was developing, and would then say, “Thank your dad for the glue for this project!”
At the time, Matthew thought he had an immense talent from all the praise the teacher was giving him. This extra praise gave him the confidence to explore ideas and pursue new directions. There was a peace and lightness within that could only be described as a moving meditation. This visual meditation continues to drive his work today.
In 1998, Matthew earned his BFA and completed the Art Education program at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago. He began his career in Art education teaching darkroom photography and studio art within the Chicago Public School system. He was able to share his love for art with high school students and use his time during summer holidays to travel and expand upon his passion in art in a wide range of media.
In 2004, Matthew decided it was time for a change and relocated to the other side of the world in Singapore to teach Art at United World College Singapore. Matthew’s ideas and influences expanded from travels within Asia, Africa, and Oceania. He also continued to dive deeper into watercolor, acrylic, oil, and mixed media work.
In addition to living abroad in Singapore, Matthew has returned to Europe to live in Munich, Germany and also Shanghai, China. He fondly recalls his time living in these vibrant cultures, but always had left his heart in Singapore. In 2013, Matthew and his family relocated back to Singapore and are excited to be back in this cultural melting pot that he now calls home.
Currently Matthew is integrating his photographic work with painting and printmaking techniques upon concepts of old versus new and issues on the sustainability of the planet.
Image elements of urban decay that Matthew has captured from five continents over the past 20 years are projected upon nature’s green spaces using a range of mixed media techniques that frame the work.
Each of these works use various techniques such as painting, stenciling, airbrush, and printmaking on canvas.