Matthew Hawtin




White Noise

SB Contemporary
Windsor, Canada
January 17 to March 9, 2019

Music, or shall we say, sound, actually plays an important role in my work. Whenever I’m in the studio there is always something emanating from the speakers and I feel there is always a soundtrack being created with each new work or series. Although my work is technically silent, I like to imagine the possible sound(s) or maybe noise, coming from each individual painting.

After the large-scale installation ‘Fallout’ shown at the Art Gallery of Windsor in 2016 I had been thinking more about the placement of works in a space. The nature of the frame’s shape allows the canvases to be rotated to different orientation, thus giving the work a sense of freedom in the placement. With this freedom there is a randomness of composition that can occur when a set of canvases are seemingly scattered on a wall. It’s in this randomness that relationships start to form and dialogues begin, between the paintings and the space.

In the case of the new installation called ‘White Noise’ I had been thinking about ‘Fallout’ on a smaller scale and how the dialogue between the works and a space also suggests a type of visual ‘noise’. Something like the hum of a building, a city or a highway, this subtle difference between what is being heard as noise or sound. I thought about tiny bits of visual static, like those on a TV screen and how that sound (or noise) would interact with a given space on the subatomic level creating distortions and vibrations we would hear but not see. In ‘White Noise’ I wanted to represent the notion of these scattered fragments of sound frozen in space.

Alongside the installation are selected drawings that serve as studies to explore different colours, textures and placements of possible paintings. The drawings are titled in the order they were produced with ‘AF’ referring to the shape of the canvas as the ‘abstract frame’. Drawing has always been a more immediate way for me to experiment and develop ideas and forms the backbone of my art practice as a way to push past creative blocks and keep the working evolving.

Note: Images of the exhibition were taken during the day and at night. This was to try and capture the different surface hues that the iridescent paint conveys at different times of the day.

White Noise | SB Contemporary | 2019