An artist who creates works whilst submerged in the sea in Cornwall is shortlisted for an award
- Credit: Archant
Peter Matthews has been announced as a finalist for the Spectrum Art Prize 2018
The Spectrum Art Prize is a national award created to celebrate the excellence of artists on the autistic spectrum. The artists were chosen from open-submission by an expert panel including Mark Wallinger, Charming Baker, Richard Billingham, Sacha Craddock and Spectrum CEO, Mary Simpson with guest judge, Professor Simon Baron-Cohen.
Whilst autism may impart a unique and individual way of seeing the world, it can also lead to multiple challenges, from social isolation to a literal ‘loss of voice’. The Prize aims to address this with a range of support, including an exhibition at The Saatchi Gallery from 1-2 May, as well as professional mentoring to help the finalists achieve their individual ambitions. All seven finalists will receive a cash prize to help sustain their practice, with a 1st prize of £10,000 to be announced at the Saatchi Gallery on 1st May, as well as 6 further awards of £1,000.
For Spectrum, Peter submitted a series of five drawings, created whilst immersed in the sea off the coast off the Lizard Peninsula – sometimes for up to 12 hours. He uses rust and pen on paper with a house plank for support to create abstract drawings which are a response to the va stness and solitude of being immersed in the sea. He believes that “the ocean is writing itself, a lot of the words drift off the edge”.
Peter Matthews lives in Leicestershire and studied Fine Art at Nottingham Trent University. His drawings, paintings, photography and videos are conceptual and performative, and have been exhibited in galleries across Europe and America. In 2017, Peter was awarded the Hugh Casson Drawing Prize and a grant from the Arts Council England. The sea is where Peter feels safest, which he describes as being ‘suspended in time’, providing a sense of security and serenity.
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Spectrum is the South West’s leading charity for autism services. It provides residential care for both adults and children, education and domiciliary care services for people with Autistic Spectrum Disorders. The Spectrum Art Prize has evolved from the charity’s long association with the arts and has been conceived as a platform for artists with autism to have their work exhibited at the same level as any other artist, without barriers or prejudices.