Episode 15 / VOICES ON ART – The VAN HORN Gallery Podcast / Matthew Burrows, artist and founder of Artist Support Pledge.

August 2020, 47 min., Language: English

A conversation with Matthew Burrows, UK based artist, founder and director of Artist Support Pledge. Matthew speaks about community, generosity, trust, sharing and the values he established when founding Artist Support Projects and, in times of Corona, Artist Support Pledge. He speaks about the eternal value of culture, how he developed the knowledge and skills to support others and realize his platform, which went viral in the past couple of months. It’s an enlightening and in depth talk about the opportunities for artists, culture and the market to create an economy which is more open and generous and enables more creators to participate in.


curated by Karolina Albricht and Gabriela Giroletti

PV Friday 18th October 6-9pm exhibition runs 19th October – 3rd November 2019 Thames Side Studios, Harrington Way, London, SE18 5NR

Including: Karolina Albrecht, Phillip Allen, Matthew Burrows, Bertrand Fournier, Gabriela Giroletti, Lizzie Munn, Jinyong Park, Henry Tyrell and Andrea V Wright

HOW SMALL A THOUGHT curated by Andrew Child and Anne Ryan 

Open Saturday and Sunday 12 – 5pm September 28th to October 13th Flat 2 Marwell House, Marwell Drive, Margate, CT9 1DJ

Including: David Batchelor, Matthew Burrows, Sarah Pickstone, Ross Taylor, Sam Windett, Sophie Von Hellerman, Jack lavender…


the self in the digital age

8th,9th,15th and 16th September 2018

Electro Studios Project Space

St Leonards on Sea, TN38 OAL

Including: Philip King, Susie Hamilton, Luke Hannam, Colin Booth, Matthew Burrows, Simon Burton, Gerard Hemsworth, Alexandra Drawbridge and Kim L Pace 


curated by Beth Colocci, Sarah Dwyer and Constance Slaughter

7th September – 14th October 2018

Boston Manor House

Boston Manor Road, London, TW8 9JX

Including: Matthew Burrows, Sarah Dwyer, Ailbhe Ni Bhriain, Ana-Catarina Pereira, Robert Rush and Constance Slaughter


curated by Paul Morrison

11th August – 24th November Graves Gallery Sheffield

Including: Frank Aurbach, John Bellany, Patrick Caulfield, Nigel Cooke, Fernard Leger, Ryan Mosley, Paul Morrison, Walter Sickert, Luc Tuymans, Rembrandt, Mathew Weir, Richard Wentworth…


Hastings Arts Forum 

2nd – 13th May 2018

Hastings Arts Forum, 36 Marina, St Leonards on Sea TN38 OBU

Curated by Matthew Burrows, Robin Holtom and Charlotte Snook

Including: Stephen Buckley, Matthew Burrows, Gus Cummins, Rachel Glittenberg, Tom Hammick, Andrzej Jackowski, Joe Packer, Geraldine Swayne and Peter Waldron


Exhibition about painting (in some aspect)

24th March – 5th April 2018

Attercliffe, Sheffield.

Curated by Paul Morrison

TO BE CONTINUED Artists in Hastings

Curated by Gus Cummins

27th Janurary – 15th April 2018

Jerwood Gallery Hastings 

Rock-a-Nore Road, Hastings,

East Sussex, TN34 3DW

Including: Matthew Burrows, Angela Braven, Gerard Hemsworth, Nicholas Pace and Charlotte Snook


A Symposium exploring ideas, issues and positions in the exhibition Between Things. 

24th November University of Chichester, College Lane, PO19 6PE.

Panel: Matthew Burrows, Dan Howard-Birt, Anne Ryan, Steve McDade, Christopher McHugh


An exhibition of contemporary painting that explores how the world is and how we attend to it; the stories we tell, characters we create and metaphors we use.

21st October – 3rd December the Otter Gallery, University of Chichester, College Lane, PO19 6PE

Curated by: Matthew Burrows – Visiting Fellow in F/A

Including: Matthew Burrows, Daniel Crews-Chubb, Georgia Hayes, Paul Housley, Anne Ryan, Steve McDade, Christopher McHugh


24th Feb – 25th March 2017 Vigo Gallery, 21 Dering Street, London, W1S 1AL

‘I’ve explored beyond the garden wall in every direction, on foot and nearly always on my own, mostly running, although I do walk when it feels appropriate. It’s not a race or any kind of competition, it’s more a conversation..”

The artist Matthew Burrows lives and works in the rolling hills of East Sussex, his studio on the site of an old windmill perched on a ridge between valleys. Despite the beautiful views and clear vistas, Burrows sense of place is far from sentimental. His relationship with habitat is not one of description or nostalgia, but one of dwelling and ritual. It is a process of mythologising, of drawing meaning from the particularities of the environment, of realising its wilderness and ours.

One has to be careful not to take this literally, Burrows speaks through analogy and metaphor. The exhibition includes images that may or may not be landscapes or figures. Their titles suggest reference to the mystic’s landscape of solitude and temptation, a paradise of emptiness and rage, a country of madness and silence.

These paintings are reflective, thoughtful and slow to reveal complex structural spaces filled with marks, shapes and pigment. The paintings on board use thin washes of oil paint scrubbed and scratched into and across the surface creating strange half states where colours and images hover on the edge of description. Painting on gesso grounds, Burrows creates an unusual softness across the hard and porous surfaces: fast and slow, thick and thin, rough and smooth. He finds his reality in paradoxes and thresholds rather than objective certainties.

Black and white works on canvas throw a graphic shadow. Using charcoal and acrylic paint Burrows collages new canvas onto the surface building and editing images and shapes. His wilderness is not something to fear but a solitude to embrace. It is the necessary contrast to culture, a place where language is unnecessary and ambition silenced. 

In previous work Burrows described himself as the metaphorical gardener. Like the gardener he cares and nurtures, creating a potential paradise within the borders 

of cultivated nature. Over the garden wall explores nature as wilderness. In the paintings ‘Wall’ 2017 and ‘Bush ’2017 Burrows explores the garden’s actual and mythic boundaries. The garden wall or hedge might demarcate our personal and domestic borders, offering protection and affirming status. For Burrows the work of painting is in making us whole, with all our failings and idiosyncrasies. These paintings make themselves vulnerable; they display their faults and wounds without shame. They leave unmade their form and surface, finally asking for our participation in putting them and us together.

PERMEABLE EDGE Exploring conversations in British painting over eighty years

19th Oct – 4th Dec  2016 Otter Gallery, University of Chichester

Curated by Matthew Burrows Visiting Fellow to the department of Fine Art at the University of Chichester.

In his contribution to the publication ‘Unit One’ (1934) the British artist Paul Nash asked if England had a national character? Indeed we could go further and ask has the English landscape formed a national artistic sensibility?

British Modernism can seem modest and intellectually discreet, polite even, when compared with American and European counterparts. It may not have the swagger and self assurance, but does this lessen its value? What, if anything, is specific to England as an island culture? And where has this permeated the work of contemporary British painting?

Permeable Edge explores these questions through eighty years of British painting. It looks to those small, but not insignificant, conversations that artists have across generations and changing contexts. From Paul Nash’s watercolour of Hampstead Gardens Under Snow,  to  the explorations in abstraction by Sandra Blow, Terry Frost, Patrick Heron  and William Gear. 

The exhibition culminates by looking at how and where this overlaps, in the work of contemporary British painters, including Phoebe Unwin and the artist duo Biggs and Collings.


Phillip Allen | Sandra Blow | Matthew Burrows | Biggs and Collings |Nicholas Byrne| Varda Caivano  Terry Frost | William Gear | Ansel Krut| Peter Lanyon | Paul Nash | Vicken Parsons | Alan Reynolds| William Scott |Graham Sutherland | Alfred Wallis| Patrick Heron | Phoebe Unwin | Sam Windett

TOWARDS NIGHT sixty artists explore the nocturnal

Opens Friday 23rd Sept 6.30-8.30pm. Exhibition continues 24th September – 22nd January 2017. Towner Art Gallery, Devonshire Park, Eastbourne, BN21 4JJ

Curated by Tom Hammick

Inculding: Matthew Burrows, Simon Burton, Patrick Caulfield, Marc Chagall, Peter Doig, Casper David Friedrich, Tom Hammick, Alex Katz, JMW Turner and Phoebe Unwin

Curated by artist Tom Hammick, this major exhibition delves into the many interpretations of night throughout art history and features paintings and prints by over sixty artists whose works span 250 years. Evening, night and dawn broadly connect the works and provide a backdrop to the drama within them, resulting in an exhibition that invites the visitor to journey into a world of wonderment, insomnia and revelry.

Towards Night juxtaposes key paintings and prints by some of the best known visionaries of the Romantic tradition including John Constable, Samuel Palmer,Edvard Munch, and J.M.W Turner with works by contemporary artists includingLouise Bourgeois, Michael Craig-Martin, Julian Opie and Prunella Clough who work with the transformative aspects of nightfall to convey emotional responses.


Opens Fri 9th September continues 25th september 2016. Wed – Sun 12-6pm. Observer BLD, Hastings, 53 Cambridge Road, TN34 1DT.

Curated by Christopher Winter

ROOT 1066 Contemporary Arts Festival – Hastings, UK 

assume vivid astro focus, BORIS + NATASCHA, Thorsten Brinkmann, Marcel Buehler, Matthew Burrows, Edward Clive, Boris Eldagsen, Amir Fattal, Azin Feizabadi, GODsDOGs, Tom Hammick, Constantin Hartenstein, Michelle Jezierski, Almagul Menlibayeva, Robert Montgomery, Nicolas Provost, Römer+Römer, Pietro Sanguineti, Pola Sieverding, Despina Stokou, Peter Wilde, Christopher Winter

Curated by Christopher Winter British Artist/Curator an international group of artists explore the language shift and cultural changes instigated by the invasion of 1066. The exhibition investigates themes of acceptance, alienation and displacement in foreign culture; themes that are very relevant today.

Artists working in different disciplines (video, painting, photography, performance and light) respond to the theme by reinterpreting history through a contemporary perspective. Thorsten Brinkmann, a self-described “serial collector” uses found objects to create photographic pieces that often playfully reference art history and heroic portraiture. Römer + Römer depict in their painting a performance troop with fantasy uniforms and weapons, who rush towards the viewer and Nicolas Provost creates a thought provoking video work of black African refugees washed-up on a European beach.

The Normans brought with them an alien culture and language. Of course learning a new language can cause a lot of confusion and misunderstandings .The stories become encrypted, communication unclear and the meaning stays in limbo.

This leaves a lot of freedom for the listener or speaker to complete the story. Robert Montgomery’s neon 

HA-BIT-US Anniversary exhibition to mark the opening of Observer BLD Hastings

Curated by: Matthew Burrows

Basil Beattie | Biggs and Collings | Colin Booth | Stephen Buckley | Toby Christian | Nika Neelova | Yelena Popova.

Observer Building Hastings is delighted to announce HA-BIT-US, a celebration of twelve months of exhibitions and events which have brought new life to the Observer Building and the community of Hastings.

The title of the exhibition HA-BIT-US is a playful adaption of the word Habitus, meaning a system or habit of mind that affects our environment. By breaking this word down it suggests a more everyday reading (has Ha ‘bit’ us? And if so, is it a bite of affection or aggression?). Like the title, the exhibition asks us to look again at our habits of perception and assumptions, of not just what, but how, we look at our environment and the activities we find there.

Objects and embellishments give evidence of our presence and care. Engagement in our environment requires our learning certain gestures, or disciplines of interpretation, that makes entry possible. We see this in the mosaic-like paintings of Biggs and Collings and the densely painted structures of Stephen Buckley. Their works suggest a tension between not just what we paint, but how we paint it.

The work of Toby Christian and Yelena Popova are at once tactile and seductive, yet suggestive of a deeper underlying space. The marks they leave behind seem fragile yet insistent that their presence is felt; making ripples into the surface of our understanding.

Colin Booth and Nika Neelova reanimate the purpose and function of familiar objects, creating pathos in the relationship between our bodies and the physical objects that occupy our space. Their works playfully engage in the surface and structure of our habitat, creating ‘gestures’, which refocus our habits and relationship to the places we occupy.

As the culmination of a year-long programme of exhibitions and events in which Observer Building Hastings has simultaneously enlightened, enraged and inspired, HA-BIT-US suggests that OB’s legacy is one of generosity. It is a creative generosity that embraces differences in practice, context and aspiration.

Artist and curator of HA-BIT-US Matthew Burrows says

“My aim for the exhibition is to bring together artists from across generations, whose work asks us how we approach visually and physically our environment and habitat. I want HA-BIT-US to be like a room of questions in a spirit of openness, humour and hospitality.”


Matthew Burrows launches ‘Studio Chairs’ with Vigo Gallery at London Art Fair 2016

To sit, rest and reflect, is one of the most everyday of activities. Matthew Burrows paints standing up. Work evolves from a continuous to and fro between palette, artwork and the far reaches of the studio, from where he examines the work in progress. This movement is punctuated by the occasional break, a time to stop rubbing, stroking, scratching and scraping, a time to sit and live with the outcome, to test its resilience, and a time to recharge and reflect. A studio needs a good chair and for many years Matthew has created a number of his own. These have evolved into works in themselves. Like the artworks they have been witness to, they have a character and specificity of their own, with the familiar titles of religious saints and prophets.

Each chair is first a painting. The panels go through the usual process of painterly construction and destruction, to arrive at a necessary relationship of form and colour. They are brutally cut into planks and like a puzzle arranged and rearranged, they are assembled into chairs, repainted and restructured until finally its character emerges.  These are chairs to reflect in and on, they offer a humorous moment of acknowledgment of our need for bodily rest and meditative reflection. 

They are artworks made to be used. They are intended to take the knocks of life, to reflect the necessary use and care they give to their recipients.  Matthew sees them as companions, like the saints they are named after; they accompany our needs, hopes, desires and imaginations.

Each chair is handmade, painted, signed, dated and titled by the artist.


Tuesday 1st – Sunday 6th December 2015

XAFA – Xi’an Academy of Fine Arts, 100 South Hanguan Road, Xi’an, Shaan Xi P.R CHINA 710065

Including: Matthew Burrows, Simon Burton, Lucian Freud, David Hockney and Rose Wylie 

WET AND DRY painting to the edges

19th July – 2nd Aug 2015 open Saturday and Sundays Observer BLD, 53 Cambridge Road, Hastings

TN34 1DT

Curated by ABC projects


WET AND DRY painting to the edges is the title of a new exhibition of contemporary painters with strong local links opening in Hastings next week (18th July) which explores what can happen when the borders between what is natural and what is manmade is exposed and revealed.

The exhibition, including works by Rose Wylie, is being curated by Matthew Burrows of ABC projects for Observer Building Arts, a new gallery in the raw yet lofty surroundings of the Observer Building. Disused and boarded up since 1989, the Observer Building itself is the embodiment of what can happen when an ambitious and creative vision in this case by development company Flint Group, sees past dilapidation and urban grime.

Revitalised and repurposed, the Observer Building will eventually provide a range of new uses including student housing, art-house cinema and an exciting new concept shop/restaurant for local food and produce. While the planning application is being prepared, its new owners are awakening the building from a long neglected slumber by tapping into the strong creative seam in the surrounding cliffs.

WET AND DRY is the inaugural exhibition of the new gallery space for Observer Building Arts. The exhibition, which will run until 2nd August, will showcase six artists: Matthew Burrows, Simon Burton, The Baron Gilvan, Gerard Hemsworth, Mario Rossi and Rose Wylie. All have strong links with Hastings and established international profiles.

The works on display combine comedy, humour and storytelling and cover an unusually broad range of subjects: nature, myth, religion, history and the everyday, with images inspired by the coastal locale such as the sea, birds, boats, dancing ladies, skulls, grass and stones, and a demon or two.

“The juxtaposition of natural phenomena, such as the sea, against the product of human intervention, is a pointed metaphor for the artist,” explains artist and curator Matthew Burrows. “The works in the show explore with humour and wit the underlying tension we find at the edge of land and culture.”

What unites the exhibiting artists is a common concern for the edges of painting. “Paint has been worked from thin to thick, whilst wet and dry, and always it carries a tension between its own character and that of the image it depicts” says Burrows.

Jeff Kirby of Flint Development Group explains how Observer Building Arts grew out of the company’s desire to rescue and reanimate one of Hastings most loved buildings, situated at the heart of a robust local visual art scene.

“Flint is committed to putting people and communities first and works on the basis that it is possible to do so, and remain commercially successful.

“The South Coast has already benefitted from a vibrant programme of arts regeneration with the launch of the Coastal Culture Trail, linking three of Britain’s most innovative centres for the visual arts – De La Warr Pavilion in Bexhill, Eastbourne’s Towner and the Jerwood Gallery in Hastings, all on a 20 mile stretch of coast. This has acted as a catalyst for the development of a grassroots community arts movement ,which just fizzes with energy. Observer Building Arts will celebrate and showcase this.”

Matthew Burrows adds, “WET AND DRY is about painting towards the edges: the edges of paint, image and meaning. This is made all the more exciting by its location on the borders of land and sea; and firmly on the frontiers of regeneration, both physical and cultural.