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The work of British visual artist Mat Chivers looks at how fundamental phenomena that exist below the surface of things inform the way we experience the world around us. For Chivers, the process of making draws on combinations of analogue and digital technologies in works that embody a hybridisation of old-world and contemporary envisioning and production processes. His practice focuses at the space between data capture and its consequent interpretation in order to explore the nature of perception.
Using solid, densely physical materials such as marble and stone, Chivers creates art works that embody an indeterminate theme such as clouds, waves, or digital communications and our pixelated view of the world in the 21st Centuary. Through the materiality of his sensuous sculptures, drawings, prints and performance, he offers the viewer an alternative view of these notions.
“The use of indeterminate forms to disrupt a determinate geometric pattern (or vice versa) has a mesmeric effect on our visual perception. From some perspectives the objects seem recognisable, from others they have an ambiguous quality as the forms are visually eroded by the geometry in the base material. This perceptual phenomenon acts as a metaphor for the contemporary digital moment in terms of how envisioning technology gives us a way of seeing elements in the world but simultaneously fragments it, unable to describe the totality of the relationships involved.”
Chivers studied Fine Art at Nottingham Trent University andEscula de belles Artes, Barcelona (1993-6). A formative influence on Chivers’ practice are the years that he spent working and travelling in Southern Europe and Morocco, culminating in a journey overland to Iran, Pakistan, India & Nepal where he spent time in the mountains of the Hindu Kush, Zanskar and Himalaya. On his return to the UK he established a studio on Dartmoor where he now lives and works. He has been involved in numerous cross-disciplinary projects with research scientists at The University of Bristol. His site-specific film work ‘Purbeck Vanitas’ was shown in 2012 as part of the commissioned project ExLab in conjunction with the Cultural Olympiad and The National Trust at the coastal UNESCO designated World Heritage site in Dorset.
His work is widely commissioned and features in notable collections around the world including Berengo Collection, Italy, Crisis UK, Fitzwilliam Museum Cambridge, Mochary Collection, USA, Thelma Hulbert Gallery, Soho House and The Met Office.