Cooks Hill Galerries and Matthew Perceval have had a long standing artist/gallery relationship over 2 decades.
I can therefore say Matthew is not an ordinary artist if indeed there is one!
Matthew has come from an art dynasty, perhaps a background most of us can’t understand. He comes from significant Australian artistic families namely the Boyd’s, Nolan’s and Perceval’s. He grew up in a time pre-technology, something the under 40 years olds amongst us may not be able to comprehend. As much of the inspiration and imagination for his paintings is about the experience of a place through travels, observations or mixing with people of an area or country. As we all know…… Matthew is unnoticeable and has difficulty making friends and idle chat – Not !!!! Just ask anyone who frequents Darby street. He is a local identity. He merges into our urban environment and certainly adds ‘colour’ to our city.
Matthew lives out of the mainstream of society and is a true individualist! Unfortunately we are seeing fewer and fewer of these people in today’s society.
When growing up as teenager he was asked by family friends the usual teenager question – ‘What are you going to do after the school years Matthew?’ his reply was simple and to the point: ‘I have two options, a ‘potter’ or a ‘painter!’ It was this world he and his family knew.
Matthew is an observer with an acute eye, dare I say an ‘artist’s eye’. I would suspect this was a trait that was drilled into him at an early age especially being from a holistic art environment and family. Much of Matthew’s inspirations come from appreciating the things around us whether they are from his window, his interior or outside. Past subject themes confirm this – coastal scrub, portraits, flowers both field and still life, observations and fascination of places in his travels or urban lifestyle.
Matthew’s vision has extended overseas with family and travel, especially to Europe and France. He understands and is proficient with the French people, culture and language.
This painter is conscious of evolving his art and what he chooses to paint. With the latest exhibition ‘Parisan Café series’ we see a style shift resembling a ‘naïve’ style featuring people relaxing from their busy lives. Perhaps Matthew’s observation and message via these paintings is… make time to stop from our busy lives? Make the time to relax, socialise and appreciate what we have and what surrounds us!
You may with this exhibition note a few local people/portraits, the expressionist style reveals the character of the sitter apart from an insight to their personality. Undoubtedly the artist’s vision captures the individual’s expression and reveals to us their inner person. The paint and style captures so much more than a still photo resemblance.
The Cooks Hill Galleries website is now also showing earlier paintings dating between 1978-2003, well worth a look and perhaps the opportunity for some of you to secure this era of Matthew’s art you missed in the past. Please contact me if you are interested in viewing them!