Elizabeth Matthews

Burren College of Art Time, Space & Inspiration

Elizabeth Matthews

PhD
2016

Elizabeth Matthews studied as an undergraduate at Syracuse University and University of Louisiana at Lafayette, graduating with dean's list honors and the outstanding graduate nomination from UL with her BFA in Painting in 2010.

She is currently a PhD candidate at the Burren College of Art. She was selected as a PhD artist researcher for the seminar of French philosopher Luce Irigaray in 2013, in Bristol, UK, and presented an exhibition of her work and an a research paper by invitation at the 2014 gathering, 'Ethical Perspectives' of Luce Irigaray researchers in Warwick, UK. She has exhibited work in the US, Ireland and UK, and been awarded residencies at the RHA in Dublin, the RCA in London, and by ACAD in Brooklyn.

The following are her introductory words regarding her upcoming PhD research exhibition Utopia of Difference:

In my PhD exhibition I present work that embodies my findings about my research question: what makes a work of art utopian? I begin with the definition of utopia as an expression of the desire for a better way of being. I start with my private life, as a woman and mother, as well as an artist. I combine household items with classical artist's techniques as a way to imagine a new world, where all people and all types of work can be recognized for the valuable contribution brought to society. I make paintings that incorporate domestic items. I make classical drawings on bedsheets. I encase soft toys in plaster bringing together two that are different. As couples, the resulting sculptures represent imaginary relationships I call intersubjective dialogs. I imagine a new symbolic order which would include recognition for all different people, places and things. By combining things in unusual ways, I draw attention to the everyday object, and re-imagine it. This exhibition constitutes an expression of my desire for a better way of being, and embodies the findings of my doctoral reasearch.