• Make Over (2016 - present)

    A residency in Newtown, Ebbw Vale.

    Phase I

    Tales of the Un/Expected

    Make Over

    January 2016 saw the beginning of a series of creative and collaborative meetings between artist, Matt White and members of the Tai Calon community in South Wales, under the watchful gaze of the Arts+Minds Consortium. The aim of this residency was to attempt to find meaningful, if sometimes less tangible, ways to utilise the arts in the process of community reawakening and to raise the possibilities for engagement and communication between the many facets of the housing organisation itself, as well as the many people it is tasked with looking after.


    These sessions were initially split between two groups, residents and tenants from Newtown, Ebbw Vale and staff from Tai Calon. Each group was helped to create a set of poignant digital stories that commented on a range of issues from poltergeists and pavements, to optimistic possibilities for the future, to the difficulties of loss or simply the pleasantries of a quiet life. The two groups were then brought together for a fun, creative and (collaborative) experience, to share stories and company in a specially devised collaborative event.


    Arts + Minds

    These moving image portraits unpick this nostalgic moment by allowing the viewer to witness the attempt of the 'actors' to hold these iconic poses. But just as the re-ordering of the furniture in the home only temporarily creates a shift of personal perspective, so the sitter falls prey to the inevitable. The attempt to cheat the boundaries of time and reality are undone as muscles twitch and struggle to relax, heads shake and gradually droop as physiological control gives way to the forces of gravity.

    Make Over, Newtown Community Hall, Newtown, Ebbw Vale. 5 Channel HD Installation

    This installation was created from material created on a special residency day that bought together staff and residents from the Tai Calon Community. The familiar ambience of the Newtown Community Hall was given a nostalgic twist through the use of costume, music and afternoon tea. An atmospheric ground ideally set for the individual transformations that followed. Yards of carefully selected fabric were shaped and pinned by the vintage specialist, Able Mabel to give the illusion of exclusive ball gowns. Props and pieces of inexpensive costume jewellery completed the preferred look – a classic Hollywood style movie-star makeover.

  • Acting Up (2013-present)

    Matt White plays Matthew Heathcote.


    Doubled Up



    An ongoing project where Matt White produces outcomes based around the continual collection of data from the process of assuming the role of a professional actor.


    These images recreate the headshots of other actors. The original images were all sourced from the internet and by a process of trial, error and facial sculpting a likeness was gradually worked towards. Each photo shoot would end when it was considered that a true likeness was created. Photoshop was used to make minor retouches but it is important that any kind of change in facial shape or expression was acheived not through digital intervention but through adding padding inside the mouth or by physically contorting the features.

    Doubled Up, 2014


    A series of shorts investigating role-play, mistaken identity and pretence.

    Duet, 2014


    A series of shorts investigating role-play, mistaken identity and pretence.

    Transfer, 2016


    A series of shorts investigating role-play, mistaken identity and pretence.

  • From the Wing of a Fly (2009-2013)

    A quest to find the first tulip, still in existence, to be cultivated for human pleasure.

    From the

    Wing of a Fly




    From the Wing of a Fly, 2013.


    A film that evolved from a research process that utilises the checkered history of the tulip to raise questions about aesthetics, commerce, symbolic meaning and political change. The contemplative voice of a 15th century sultan in intertwined with the commentary of a more contemporary explorer as they discover a Turkey that is new to both of them.

    Ekrem/Sway, 2009


    The first stage of this ambitious project involved an Arts Council funded journey to the valleys north of Erzurum, Turkey, to track down and document one of only four indigenous tulip varieties, and one of the first species to be naturalised by the Sultans of the Ottoman Empire in the fifteenth century – tulipa Armena.

    Tughra 2010


    From Osman I (1299-1323/4) to Abdülmecid II (1922-1924), Tughra showa the calligraphic monograms, or seals, of every Ottoman Sultan to have ruled throughout the Ottman dynasty.

    Fly, 2010


    From the Wing of a Fly revolves around the early appropriation of the tulip from the wild (N.E. Turkey c.15), it’s transformation, through greed chance and disease, into a much coveted commodity during tulipomania (Amsterdam c.17), as well as its subsequent role in the development of modern systems of financial exchange. It examines how a simple, beautiful, chanced upon object can, over time, become tethered and regimented for aesthetic pleasure; become burdened with religious and poetic symbolism and overlaid with economic dogma.

  • Vanishing Point (2012)

    A van-based mobile residency to collect stories about real life in the Ebbw Fach Valley, South Wales



    During the summer of 2012, artists Matt White and Katrina Kirkwood scoured the streets and hills of the Ebbw Fach in search of the real voices of the valleys. Each participant interview was placed with a mixture of their own photographs and newly created images to create a series of compelling digital stories.


    Matt White  brought these voices together in an installation where he incredible collective babble presents a localised community both together and at odds with each other. Their individual voices speak of wider-reaching social and political difficulties; about politics and belonging. The placement of this audio-visual community within this particularly loaded space raises questions about the role of institutions as they continue to shift and adapt to the post industrial climate within the south Wales regions.

    Vanishing Point, 2012, Market Cinema, Brynmawr

    Single Screen HD Projection


    A selection of voices, stories, views and viewpoints from the Ebbw Fach valley are brought together in a single screen video work .

  • This is the Place (2008)

    A quest to find the mid-point between right and wrong



    Salt Lake City

    Las Vegas

    This project takes as its starting point two opposing methods of escape; one psychological and one physical. Self-hypnosis is used in an attempt to be free from the force of gravity, the result of this experiment is the uncovering of two opposing, highly charged and deeply engaging emotional states.

    This is the Place, 2008, Spike Island, Bristol

    Desert, 21:58, Vegas, 21:58 , SLC, 21:58, Weightless, 2008, 7:30

    Set against this is a more corporeal experience. On a trip that has echoes of nineteenth century emigrant journeys from the British Isles to America, our narrator(s) immerses himself in three locations. In Las Vegas he documents encounters with prostitutes, strippers and revellers, before traveling two hundred miles north to the desert where he found snakes, a specific GPS location and a sense of human fragility. The final destination was the homely world of a former Mormon family where he temporarily filled the role of the resident male, playing football with the kids in the garden, dipping toes in the Great Salt Lake and sneaking an occasional beer.

    This is the Place (Desert), 2008, HD Projection

    Using narrative voiceovers, the resulting multi-screen video work offers the viewer the possibility to mediate between opposing positions; from the claustrophobic visceral outpourings of the hypnosis subject to the vast, beautiful and baron Utah desert landscape; between the spiritual and political growth (and decline?) of two cities that have both grown out of a similar physical wilderness but have adopted differing sensibilities; between solid geographical locations and the philosophical narratives that represent them.

    This is the Place (Vegas), This is the Place (SLC) 2008, Synched Diptych, HD Projection

  • Weightless (2008)

    To be free from the effects of gravity

    Single Channel HD Video

    The artist used self-hypnosis in an attempt to free himself from the force of gravity; the result of this experiment is the uncovering of two opposing, highly charged and deeply engaging emotional states.

  • Voyage (2007)

    A journey inside the mind of Francis Poulenc.

    Single Channel Video

    On 16th August 1936, French Composer Francis Poulenc travelled from a hotel in Uzerche to visit La Chappelle Notre Dame in Rocamadour.


    He was a troubled character, confused by his sexuality and unsure of his religious beliefs. This journey culminated in an encounter with the black Madonna housed there. This visit was to change his life forever. In the summer of 2006 I underwent the same journey.


    I recorded a physical journey in the present that has a destination tangibly rooted historically and geographically, but whose ultimate goal is (and was, in Poulenc’s terms, although he didn’t realise it at the time) the less palpable prize of inspiration.

  • Pitié (2005-2006)

    Temporal micro expressions.

    Voyage, 2007, Single Channel Video

    Litanies à La Vierges (1936) Noire by Francis Poulenc was written within a week of his pilgrimage to the sanctuary of the Black Madonna of Rocamadour in France. This and the trauma bought about by the death of his composer-friend Pierre-Octave Ferroud, revived his Catholic faith.


    This composition was the first of a steady stream of religious choral works, which continued throughout the rest of his life. The piece consists of a series of prayers to Mary; the deeply personal nature of the piece is immediately apparent with its humble and angst-ridden plea.


    The characters emotions in Pitié drift from pleasure to pain echoing the shift between harmony and dis-chord offered by the music. Both of these oppositions reflect certain emotional dichotomies in Poulenc's life

  • Past Lies (2003)

    Past life regressive hypnosis

    Single Channel Video

    Past Lies involves a narrative that is bought forward through past life regressive hypnosis. This single take work invites us to witness the institutional confession of James Smyth, an eighteen year old Victorian rapist and murderer.


    Despite the apparent simplicity of the mise en scène, the constant unblinking stare of the confessor, the stunted delivery of words and the very slight drift of lip-synch create an uneasy feeling as the work unfolds. The phrases that the character uses compound this as specific details are given that seem to belie the apparent context. Presented in a contemporary setting, the words do not quite belong to the image; they come from a different era, sometime in the past.