Matthew Clarke <em>Lost in Melbourne Zoo</em> 2022; colour linocut; ed. 1/15. Commissioned by the National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, 2022<br/>
© Matthew Clarke. Printed by Glenn Morgan.

Matthew Clarke

Matthew Clarke
(b. 1986, Warrnambool, Victoria. Lives and works in Warrnambool)

Matthew Clarke is a painter, printmaker and sculptor whose unique work is distinguished by his neo-expressionist aesthetic, vibrant colours and sense of spontaneity. The neurodiverse artist often draws inspiration from personal experiences, friends and family and his everyday surroundings.

Commissioned for the Print Portfolio, Clarke’s new work Lost in Melbourne Zoo, 2022, continues his recent printmaking series about his experience of being lost in the city. Created with the technical guidance of his mentor and long-time collaborator Glenn Morgan, Clarke’s linocut tells a family story, remembering the time he became separated from his father and uncle at Melbourne Zoo as a young child. Characteristic of the artist’s lively and dynamic style, the print summons all the turbulent emotions of a child who finds themselves outside the zoo’s gates, captured in bold and spirited lines that vibrate with energy. The human figure is not totally alone, however, but accompanied by a wallaby, a motif which has featured recurrently in the artist’s drawings, paintings and sculptures since 2012. Clarke’s expressive take on this native animal inspires feelings of joy, intrigue and, here, some comfort in the face of the unknown.

Since completing a Diploma in Visual Arts, Crafts and Design at South West TAFE, Victoria, in 2011, Clarke has exhibited nationally and internationally, appearing at Art Expo New York (2017), Sydney Contemporary (2017, 2015), Mornington Peninsula Regional Gallery (2017), France’s Outsider Art Fair (2015), Art Gallery of Ballarat (2015) and C3 Contemporary Art Space (2015). His portrait of friend and fellow artist Del Kathryn Barton was shortlisted in the Archibald Prize (2021), and he was a finalist in the Swan Hill Art Prize (2020). He was also the recipient of Sustaining Creative Workers funding from Regional Arts Victoria for the exhibition The Winter of Disconnect: The Great Indoors, a combined show from Clarke and Barry Tate held at Collingwood’s Fox Galleries in 2020. His work was recently acquired by the City of Melbourne, has appeared on the side of trams in Melbourne and Adelaide, and won the Fringe Festival Poster Competition in 2019.