Matt Smith is an artist and curator. Matt’s practice most often consists of making site-specific interventions in museums and collections in order to repurpose or reconsider them, most recently in the solo exhibitions, Queering the Museum (Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, 2010) and Other Stories (Leeds University Art Collection, 2012). Expanding upon this approach Matt is a founder member and curator of Unravelled (Preston Manor, Brighton, 2010; Nymans House and Garden, Sussex, 2012; The Vyne, Basingstoke, 2013 and Uppark House and Garden, Petersfield, 2013), an innovative three-year project of contemporary visual art exhibitions in National Trust properties.
With a continuing interest in craft, it's association with recreational practice and accessibility, Smith appropriates, amongst other things, ceramic figurines and found tapestries, and repurposes them. “Ingeniously producing objects that are both reassuringly familiar and strangely new, vibrant and multifaceted, Matt's works are, in the end, irreverent reinterpretations of the ideas of kitsch - clichés that are first emptied, then filled again with ever more loaded meanin.” Oliver Winchester, Curator, Victoria and Albert Museum.
Matt Smith showed Garniture, a new commission of seven vessels, in the Stone Hall at Uppark House and Garden in West Sussex. The work formed part of Unravelling Uppark, the third exhibition in the Unravelling the National Trust partnership between Unravelled and the National Trust.
Matt showed a number of works in Subversive Design (Brighton Museum & Art Gallery; 19 October 2013 - 9 March 2014), a major exhibition of objects that challenge perceived ideas, contain hidden messages and address social issues and political comment which includes historic objects as well as modern and contemporary artworks.
Matt Smith was Ceramicist in Residence at the V&A through October 2015 - March 2016.
Flux: Parian Unpacked is Matt's major installation for Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge exploring themes of mass production, celebrity, colonialism and our notions of history. A feature length article in Crafts Magazine (March 2018) can be downloaded in the left column.