Meet visual Matthew Humphreys, a visual artist from the UK who was awarded an Artists' International Development Grant to further support him in his international career in the Netherlands.
My name is Matthew Humphreys; I am a visual artist working between Northampton and London in the UK. I have recently been awarded an Artists' International Development Grant from the British Council and Arts Council of England. I started to form my artistic practice during my Masters at Central Saint Martins, I come from a film making background and I decided to refocus my practice into the art world. I was selected for Bloomberg New Contemporaries in 2014 and this is where my relationship with a particular gallery from the Netherlands started.
Mare Von Koningsveld, a curator based in Haarlem saw my work in New Contemporaries and contacted me wanting to include it within a show that she was curating with her partner Lennard Dost. Of course this was a great email to receive and I said yes, the show however has been put to the side for a while due to funding and other work commitments, our relationship blossomed from here. I would keep them up to date with what I was doing, exhibitions, new work and suchlike. Lennard who is the director of Nieuwe Vide approached me at the end of last year offering me a commission for his show ‘Does Kitty Know…’, which was took place in January 2017 and was well received.
We had been in touch over email for two years and I became aware of the Artists' International Development Fund, I approached Mare and Lennard to discuss a potential application to this and they were very keen. So, the application went in and success, I got it. This was a great chance for me to show them the London art scene, visit my studio and of course finally meet them face-to-face.
It was a busy five days of gallery hopping: I showed them around with visits to galleries, a friends show where he was exhibiting in someone’s home, dinners and a studio visit. It was really beneficial to me showing them my studio, as I have a lot of work in development and it’s not necessarily ideas that I would discuss over email, also the curators picked up on things in my studio that led to conversations about my work, which made me think more about my practice.
This grant has enabled our relationship to evolve, technology can bring us together but this visit has highlighted to me the importance of physical meet ups. I am due to visit Haarlem and the surrounding areas within the next few months. I am looking forward to seeing the art scene over there and discussing further a show, which was born from conversations during my studio visit, that I will have in Haarlem at Nieuwe Vide in 2018.