Matt Donovan – Born 1968 in Wimborne, Dorset, studied art at Queen Elizabeth school, Wimborne,
to A level standard. He then spent 2 years at Shelly Park College of Art & Design, part of
the Bournemouth and Poole College of Art, where Matt achieved a National Diploma. From here he
journeyed away from home
and spent the next 2 years at the Cambridge school of Art,
leaving with a Higher National Diploma.
Whilst a Cambridge Matt’s art work was often used in
exhibitions the school hosted, some of
Matt’s work was also chosen and published in numerous
books and publications, a great privilege.
Matt, since an early age has produced commissioned art work for friends and clients. He has also produced
art work for the British Army, R.N.L.I, The National Trust, British Fossils, Hamleys, Clintons and The Right
Honourable Lady Rockley. Matt has also been commissioned to illustrate a numerous books for e.g.
Apple press, Robert & Peatling, Mathew Manning, David Lindon, Hugh Miles (Bafta award winning wildlife
film maker and angler) to name just a few! He has also produced work for Eric Clapton, Sting,
Russell Watson, Bingo the Clown and most recently a series of paintings for Robbie Williams.
Matt lives for his art, it is his life. He has always made a friend of his work. As a child from the tender
age of three, he spent hours drawing in the office of the local Tivoli Cinema, where his mother, Margret,
often worked as an usherette. This is where it all began for Matt, he was fascinated by the films, Disney
cartoons and would draw late into the night, with the images alive pouring out of his head. Dumbo, the
Walt Disney classic, was a true
inspirational awakening remaining still to this day one of his
favourite films. To think of an image in your head and watch it come to life in your hands is a true
gift, given only to a chosen few. Matt is a truly gifted artist, Matt’s gift is not from this world,
as you will see from his works.
Matt can show you the many aspects of his remarkable talent.
From exquisite drawings, majestic paintings, rich vibrant collages and animal art works.
Matt’s work will take you on a journey of total escapism into his world of creativity and imagination.
Everything about Arusha gallery’s artwork of the week is powerful, from the title, The Battle of the Soul, to the rich and dark colours of the artwork which is a perfectly matched combination of painting and sculpture.
The artist Matt Donovan describes his art work as “conquering demons, overcoming fears and trepidations.” Upon the oil on canvas the artist has attached objects such as wooden horns and an angel; they carry significant symbolic meaning. As the artist explains, “the angel represents the soul, light, love, gentleness, truth, strength and domination through salvation and the casting of our inner demons. The beast (the horns), seep from the shadows infecting, purifying our soul. It is always present”.
The artwork conjures up many feelings and as humans we can relate to all of them, we all have good places our minds and souls journey too but we also have dark and horrifying places deep down inside, referencing this painting to a contemporary Ying and Yang artwork.
In the centre of the artwork it looks as if there is a compass with a dial which one could take to be symbolic to guiding our souls out of the dark places that they sometimes travel off to, to the light. Although this painting was created with dark hues it still has a positive vibe to it such as good prevailing evil. What the angel represents overcomes the beast that is the horns.
Even though this painting is very detailed and has lots going on in it the various components all come into one narrative and link in well together. One could spend hours looking at it as it is thought provoking and touching which all masterpieces should have the power of creating for the viewer. This painting injects hopes and positivity such as a phoenix rising from the ashes.
For more details on this or any of the works by Matt Donovan, please visit us in our Edinburgh Art Gallery or do not hesitate to contact Arusha Art Gallery today