Matthew Andrews MA RCA Biography:
My life with pictures started aged 11 with a dark room in the back of my parents garage where in the freezing cold of winter I taught myself how to take photos with my Kodak Box Brownie and how to use an enlarger to develop those photos.
They were not the greatest photos in the world but it was a very important part of my pictorial education. I learnt so much about observation, image construction and how to manipulate images within the production process (Man Ray being an influence then) long before the world of computers and Photoshop were in existence.
Twin Towers © M B Andrews 1976
Traveling around Asia and India in the early 80's I found Holography whilst in Australia and became certain this was an exciting new imaging tool. So much so that on my return to the UK I set up a hologram studio in a squat in Camberwell and taught myself how to make them.
A sparkling set of Window art works illuminated by the sun giving not only changing decorative images but a barometric effect got me accepted to the Royal College of Art in 1987 to do a masters in Holography. I graduated with the “class prize”, the Prudential Award for Holography in 1989 and soon also received a John Downs Trust Award. My degree show holograms from the RCA were exhibited at the Royal Academy in London as part of the 150 years of Photography Exhibition. The same artworks also went to The Museum of Holography in New York as part of the Young British Artists expo including my Door Piece a multi dimensional laser viewable installation.
I was invited at this time to do a lecture tour, to explain art holography to a wider audience. Venues included Academy of Media Arts in Koln Germany and the Science Museum, London with several other eminent venues.
I also made How to Make a Hologram, an educational documentary. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q6frPSFVo7A which has been seen and used at almost every hologram show world wide since I made it. It is still educating 1000's of people about holography today.
I won a substantial grant from South East Arts to make my deeply colourful and interactive Water Holograms, which I took on tour around the South East of the UK. (photos can never do the colours justice). Water holograms are not your average green 3d space as a normal hologram. With Waterpieces you squirt water at them and they burst into colour and were the definition of interactive and fun. The viewer played with the Waterpieces with paint brushes, spray guns, squeegees and your fingers, to create effects that lasted for just minutes. The colours changed as they dried out. They were “performances” that the viewer controlled until there was nothing left, just black. Squirt new water and it started all over again.
Waterpiece © Matt Andrews 1994 4 different moments recorded from just one Waterpiece.
The Waterpeice, encased in a box, with hand made tools was bought by Hologram collector Jonathon Ross (not the TV presenter).
Holograms have limitations in scale and they are hard to see without the right light and they were expensive to make. Also I had noticed that the camera I constructed to make the holograms was far more interesting than the hologram end result. All the patterns from stray laser light and paraphernalia that is used to make Holograms had a far more interesting narrative.
So began a series of installations in art spaces in the UK. In each venue I would scour the streets and shops and homes of people I met and collect/find/buy random objects, books (which I burnt holes through), and assorted paraphernalia, all of them connected to each other by laser light. If you followed the light you could follow the narrative by adding up the meanings and relationships of each object. Each location would provide its own unique story. These were very popular but not easily sold. None survive.
By 1995 I had discovered lenticulars and was one of the first artist in the UK to start to use the Lenticular medium for fine art. Suddenly, I could work without a dark room, in any scale and in any colour and make artwork that could be framed, sold and collected, understood. It was a moment of freedom for my self expression. It coincided with my getting a computer and software like Photoshop and 3D studio Max. Again I taught myself how to make lenticulars and I organised exhibitions in London and UK to promote, sell and expose this new medium. At this time I appeared on TV and on Radio becoming the only expert on the subject and the go to person for comment and analysis.
With very few experts in the field with my experience and artistic expertise, I found myself persuaded away from pure Fine Art, to set up a company with private investors called Interlace 4D Ltd. We held Star Wars and Star Trek licenses, made merchandise, produced all the lenticulars for trade shows, and a wide variety of marketing exploits.
The company was commissioned by large and expensive department stores like Harrods for high end window displays, or big businesses who wanted to decorate their walls with unusual and interesting artworks like Chevron for whom I made 50 lenticular artworks about oil rigs that still decorate their walls in their London HQ.
Selected achievements include :-
The opening windows of Garrard in Bond Street with an exquisitely coloured collection of 3D Butterfly's and Moths which later became a series of artworks.
Jaeger's 120th anniversary windows countrywide with archive magazine photos as flips to animate the window display as you walked past.
The Christmas windows for Swarovski in 70 countries, using imagery from Phantom of the Opera.
Christmas windows for Ralph Lauren in London.
The Schipol airport Shop for Dunhill, a massive project of three 23 meter wide by 2 meter high backlit animated walls, that made the exterior walls of a circular shop.
A 6 meter wide x 1 meter high 3D and animated abstracted art piece for Coke Cola's London HQ foyer.
A set of 1.2m sq transparent 3D images using archive photographs and 3D models of cars for Opal for their annual Motor Show stand.
A set of 6 images, each 1M high by 60cm wide, as a frieze for the Dining Room at Guildford University, now hanging in the Rector's rooms.
There have been many other unique and unusual projects for interior design companies and private clients during this time. I have made floors, walls, ceilings and even lenticular stained glass windows.
(Sadly a hard drive crash has stripped me of all artworks and all documentary pictures of this time).
I never stopped making Art even whilst running a commercial business.
2 of the many successful images from that time were:-
3D Koi Pond 1 M sq © Matt Andrews 2006 Edition of 25
The world's No 2 Feng Shui expert bought 3 of them, as they represent the perfect set of Koi fish.
3D RED SEA BASS 1m x 1.2m © Matt Andrews 2007 Edition of 25
These were bought by people including His Majesty The King of Bahrain , Prince Talal of Jordan, and many other private clients all sold through Themes and Variations in Notting Hill.
Washington Green Galleries commissioned me to make an edition of 3D images based on the Sea Bass image. These sold through Castle Fine Art, Washington Green, Iona House gallery.
I continued to make artworks on commission for many people, a selection being Gary Barlow, Petra Eccleston, Rodger Federer, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani of Qatar and 3 for Leicester FC owner Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha (RIP).
Commissions sell for between £3,000 and £25,000 depending on the project, image size and image creation.
I went through a pop art “phase” and produced some very colourful and I think interesting takes on the genre. I took some of Peter Blake's early posters and updated them to create a flip collage where the images change as you walk past. His symbolism flipping to what my take on that idea was in this age.
Idol Progress 2 80 cm sq Giclee print © Matt Andrews 2012
Mixing up and changing some of Andy Warhol's images and “warholing” some images of Andy I combined these pics to make a multi flip vibrant colour lenticular transparency.
MyWarhol Light box Piece 80 cm sq © Matt Andrews 2012
I made some colour work in 3D as transparencies
Strips of Stripes light box pieces 3D © Matt Andrews 2013
At this time I was asked to exhibit at The Paul Stolper Gallery in a Lenticular retrospective show that included Damien Hirst, Julian Opie, Roy Lichtenstein, Sir Peter Blake, Chris Levine, Geoff Rob. I also exhibited Twilight at Derby Quad Gallery.
Twilight of the Empire 1 off original 3D 80cm sq Lenticular print. © Matt Andrews 2016
The concept was that the British Monarchy had during The Empire replaced all the local “chiefs” with themselves. And indeed when The Queen ascended the throne in 1954 she was still the “chief” of all The Empire. However over my lifetime the Indian chiefs have been reasserting themselves and the British Monarchy has been shrinking, hence the title Twilight of The Empire as this is truly the moment in history when The Empire is over. The picture includes bits of Prince Charles, bits of Prince William and bits of HMQueen with bits of a Canadian Indian chief.
People fall on hard times for any number of reasons but mostly it is not their fault just a result of circumstance but all of them are hindered by an uncaring and ignorant government who truly have no idea of what their policies create, what their spending choices mean for the citizens of the country and have openly laughed at the suggestion that it might be the opposite of what they tell us.
My anger and sadness with this state of affairs fueled this series of images called
Homeless not Helpless.
Homeless not Helpless Giclee prints and 3D lenticular, various, 2016
I became intrigued by the story (or lack of real truth) of Cowboys and Indians and made a series of flip lenticulars and Giclee prints, almost as a documentary on that subject.
There is a whole series of these as 60cm sq Giclee prints and as 80cm sq animated flip lenticular transparencies in light boxes.
Sold through the Iona House Gallery.
2019...current work as yet to be exhibited.
Deep Chaos. These images are a response to the world as I see it today.
Using strong colours and abstract shapes, nothing is where you imagine. Within these images conflict is at play. Powerful opposing forces are visually expressed. Whilst this shape and that colour interact, they do so in conjunction but also in spacial opposition... at the same time.
I have created a new dynamic that defies accepted reality, impossible 3D, if you will. The series is a challenge to the eye, a visual struggle for the viewer, an experience, something to be troubled by, ruminate on, engage with. Something that indeed raises new questions but is also visually appealing.
3D must be seen in real life.
No amount of hi res photos or gifs will adequately convey the truth of this work
There are 6 new images (with more gestating) that could be produced in editions or as one off's.
click on link https://www.storyportrait.co.uk/ for more and the animations.