[lives & works - Brighton, England ::: b. 1978 – North Wales, UK]
MATT HENRY grew up in the hills of North Wales and is now based in Brighton, England. He works with photography and stages fictional scenes that draw on interests first explored during an undergraduate degree in Politics (Univ. of Nottingham). A self-taught photographer, Matt went on to study MA Photography (Univ. of Brighton) and has since published two photography books — Short Stories and Night of the Hunted — and is currently working on book number three. Matt is represented by Polka Galerie in Paris and has had two solo shows at the gallery to date. His third exhibition will coincide with the release of his new book: Misadventure.
The artist says of his photographs...
I make fictional narratives set in the Mid-century era that often play with real-world themes and events. The narratives comprise a sequence of photographs staged across set-builds and dressed locations. Each is storyboarded and typically features a cast of actors that I style and direct. My production process shares elements with traditional film-making, including casting, location scouting, lighting/set design, props, and costume, as well as the use of period hair and makeup. The work has been described as 'stills from a movie that was never made'. The images are released as archival inkjet prints, as well as being produced in book form.
My narratives seek not to emulate or comment on the medium of film, but rather to use the sequenced still image as a storytelling medium in its own right. My stories explore my fascination with the Mid-century period and often feature recurring interests, including the Sixties as unresolved political flashpoints; the counterculture, psychedelics, and social change; dream states and visions of utopia/dystopia; as well as themes relating to race and gender. Rather than viewing this period as a static historical artifact to be viewed from an objective present, my fictions explore contemporary as well as historical themes by using this period as more of a shape-shifting historical mirror.
[download full CV below]
2012-2014 MA Photography (Distinction); University of Brighton
2002-2003 PGDIP Magazine Journalism; University of Cardiff
1996-1999 BA 2:1 (Hons) Politics; University of Nottingham
2018 Southern Gothic, Polka Galerie, Paris
2016 The Trip, Polka Galerie, Paris
2015 Michael Hoppen Gallery, London (online show)
2014 Blue River Falls, One Eyed Jacks, Brighton
2012 Sometime in the Never, One Eyed Jacks, Brighton
SELECTED GROUP EXHIBITIONS
2020 The Days that Follow, Polka Galerie, Paris
2017 Bling Bling Baby!, Germany
2016 Unseen Amsterdam
Gardening, Flatland Gallery
Photo Noir, Photo Place Gallery
2015 Format Evidence, Tbilisi Photo Festival
Format Evidence, Obscura Festival, Malaysia
Exposure, Format Festival, Derby
2014 Open, Centre for Fine Art Photography, Colorado
Night Contact, Brighton Photo Biennial
Mythopoesis, Uni. of Brighton Masters’ degree show
One Shot: One World, MOPLA Los Angeles
Gilman and Gonzalez-Falla Collection
National Gallery of Victoria (NGV)