courtesy Union Gallery
Emerging from a strongly collaborative South London squat-scene of young artists,
actors, writers, musicians, moviemakers and designers, Stone produces chiaroscuro
laden photography, dramatically portraying friends and night-time players stripped of
context-locating clothing, draped in cheap fabric swatches, and locked in self-absorbed
states of romanticised visionary ecstasy. His photographic images assert a deadpan
observational tone, whilst simultaneously proposing a heightened version of what is
already present: taking a step back to revel in the dynamic, the construction of a
particular image, and the amplification of the inherent mythologies underpinning his

Playfully assuming the role of shamanistic lightening conductor for the energies of his
collaborators, much of Stone’s multi-disciplinary practice assumes a similarly non-
didactic position to his photography in order to reveal how stories are told and history is
made. Often focussing on revealing the mechanics of media manipulation and the
creation of cultural ‘product’, his artistic engagement with socially and philosophically
conflicted situations is mediated through forms of entertainment and performance:
helping stage several hugely ambitious evolving, inclusive ‘happenings’ of sometimes
none, sometimes 2000+ attendance for instance - events which have since assumed the
mantle of London urban legend.

Stone’s central concern, ultimately, is with people, place and community. The resulting
work reveals the fragmented identities, cross-cultural negotiations and relationships
between culture and history we all navigate on a daily basis in the reality of our
broadband, interconnected present. There is a sense you could become privy to some
important but just-out-of-reach information, of perhaps attaining admittance to an inner
sanctum. The oppositional tension inherent in the construct of Stone’s work, the
fractured multiplicity of visual language, location of place and time only serve to heighten
the construct. In doing so, the contradictions could provide a truth or at least a further
starting point: that every situation, no matter how well you think you understand, is more
complex than you often allow - at once seductive and frustrating in equal measure.

Matthew Stone lives and works in London.

[text courtesy Union Gallery]


2000 – 2004
Camberwell College of Arts, University of the Arts of London, BA (Hons) Painting (1st)

Solo Exhibitions
Future Hindsight, Union Gallery, London
Tianhuang Dadi, Terence Koh's Asia Song Society, New York

Selected Group Exhibitions

Nocturnal, Sarah Myerscough Fine Art, London
DAZED & CONFUSED v ANDY WARHOL, BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art,
 Gateshead, UK
Feral Kingdom, Centre for Contemporary Arts, Glasgow
Ruhe Bewahren, Arthouse Tacheles, Berlin
Multiple Discipline, Union Gallery, London