Matthew Stanton

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1. Deep North, Selected Images(33 Images, Ongoing Series)2013 - Present

‘Deep North’ is an ongoing project which examines interrelationships between ecology, psychology and the differing time scales within the landscapes of Far Northern Queensland. Produced over a ten year period the images chart the teeming surfaces, stilled recesses and storied topographies of these environments. The series considers the superimposition of spatial and biogeographical histories within the landscape creating dialogue between their political and mythopoetic associations.

The artist respectfully acknowledges the Gunggandji-Mandingalbay Yidinji people who generously welcomed him upon the traditional lands to which they hold native title to produce the images of the Djunbunji Land and Sea Rangers conducting their traditional fire management practices. He extends his gratitude to the Mandingalbay Yidinji Aboriginal Corporation for their help and collaboration in the production of these images and pays his respects to Gunggandji-Mandingalbay Yidinji Elders past and present. (View Djunbunji Website)

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Mareeba (Muluridji Country), 2015
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Room - After Tarkovsky (Djabugay Country), 2015
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Johnstone River #1, (Ngadjonji Country), 2013
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'Mulgrave River (Yirrganydji and Yidinji Country), 2013
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Josephine Creek (Ngadjonji Country), 2018
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Freshwater Creek (Djabugay Country), 2013
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Freshwater Creek (Djabugay Country), 2022
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Stockwellia quadrifida (Ngadjon-Jii Country), 2022
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Cultural Burning (Yidinji Country) #3, 2018
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Cultural Burning (Yidinji Country) #1, 2018
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Topaz (Ngadjonji Country), 2013
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Moody Creek (Djabugay Country), 2007
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Treefall, Freshwater Creek (Djabugay Country), 2022
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Cairns Central Swamp (Yidinji Country), 2007
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Topaz (Ngadjonji Country), 2013
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African Tulip (Djabugay Country), 2007
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Untitled (Ngadjonji Country), 2013
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Kuranda (Djabugay Country), 2015
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Topaz (Ngadjonji Country), 2015
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Mareeba (Muluridji Country), 2015
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Globe (Djabugay Country) 2022
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Zanzoo (Djabugay Country), 2008
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The last of Wurrmbul Banning's Hoop Pines (Djabugay Country), 2013
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Freshwater Creek (Djabugay Country), 2018
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Vine Country (Wujnur Country), 2018
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Henrietta Creek (Mamu Country), 2018
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Freshwater Creek (Djabugay Country), 2018
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Devil's Leap (Djabugay Country), 2018
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Ficus virens, Freshwater Creek (Djabugay Country), 2013
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North Johnstone River #1, (Ngadjonji Country), 2013
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Cultural Burning (Yidinji Country) #4, 2018
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Goldsborough Valley (Yidinji Country), 2013
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2. The Wilderness Journal #17(1 Image, Web Article)2022

‘Deep North’ in The Wilderness Journal #17. Read Online Here

“The waters of Freshwater Creek coursed through most facets of my life and not infrequently through my dreams. The boulder-strewn banks of that creek were fringed by grand, tenacious water gums, gallery rainforests and half-hidden tributaries that formed a shifting zone of associations suspended between place and imagination.”

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Freshwater Creek 1979. Image: J.P. Stanton
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3. 'Deep North' at NorthSite(6 Images, Exhibition)2022(PDF)

‘Deep North’ at NorthSite Contemporary Arts, Cairns and accompanying essay by Matthew Dunne. (Downloadable .PDF)

“Stanton’s photographs trace ecology both as an intricate web and as
something that recognises and pushes back on us. As the cleared land for the house
leads to increased run off, the existing erosion worsens and the river becomes less
clean. These ripple effects are one of the most frustrating and overwhelming aspects
of ecology: it is too big for our brains to ever encapsulate. An ecosystem defies our
ability to understand it and, at times, this is not just overwhelming but somewhat
scary. Many of the images in this body of work feel suffocating, like we are being
grown over ourselves, slowly constricted and taken in. There is a sense that we are
not just looking but being looked at, regarded. Our response can be primeval and
reptilian: caught in nature’s headlights with nowhere to go. Ecology, therefore,
overwhelms our analytical minds and sits squarely in the deeper, more ancient, and
less considered parts of our brain: the places fear lives.”

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4. ABC Far North Interview(Radio Interview)2022

Artist Interview with ABC Radio Far North presenter Charlie McKillop.

Listen to interview here.

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5. Deep North - Landscape Architecture Australia(6 Images, Magazine Article)2021(PDF)

‘Deep North’ - Landscape Architecture Australia ‘Field Trip’ Feature. Issue 171. August 2021 (Downloadable .PDF)

“The Deep North series interweaves conceptual threads that twine and converge around anthropocentric themes, as positioned against the vastness of geological time scales. An important aspect of the series examines the role of humans as useful ecological agents in relationship to themes of legacy, posterity and inheritance. The question of how we might harness a nuanced understanding of the processes at play within different ecosystems to protect and maintain them became a significant touchstone as the series evolved. This interest extended to the critical roles we, as a species, are required to play in guiding the regeneration of complex ecological processes in landscapes that would otherwise stall or unravel without further human intervention.”

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6. 'The Mix' on ABC TV(12 Images, Web Link)2020

A feature on ‘Deep North’ which screened on the ABC TV Arts show ‘The Mix’ on the weekend of the 28th of November 2020

View feature on iview

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7. Jane by the Grey Attic(3 Images, Magazine Article)2020(PDF)

‘Before Me’ Jane by the Grey Attic. Issue 8. Pages 32-49. Curated by Stanislava Pinchuk 2020 (Downloadable .PDF)

Contributors: Stanislava Pinchuk, Šejla Kamerić, Rachel Cieśla, Margaret Zhang, Samantha Oliver, Angela Tiatia, Anna Plunkett, Tai Snaith, Sarah Panell, Matthew Stanton, Wafia Al-Rikabi, Yhonnie Scarce, Amrita Hepi, Stephanie Stamatis, Hayley Millar-Baker, Elizabeth Campbell, Lou Weis and Lana Jones, Christie Petsinis.

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8. 23º and Rising(15 Images, Exhibition)2019

Centre for Contemporary Photography, Fitzroy.

“23° and Rising presents two discrete bodies of work by Melbourne-based photographers Matthew Stanton and Abigail Varney, examining the ecological impacts faced by the communities of Australia’s northern tropics in Darwin and Far North Queensland. The exhibition’s title both suggests the Tropic of Capricorn – which dissects Australia and marks the global tropical zone – and alludes to the impacts of climate change on the stability of global weather patterns.

Stanton and Varney’s respective series investigate the environmental and psychological volatility inherent to these geographical extremities. Both artists have ventured to the northernmost regions of Australia, engaging with the communities that inhabit them, creating unsettling and intriguing bodies of work that form abstract portraits of these seemingly-foreign, distant lands.” (CCP Website)

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9. Deep North (2014–19)(9 Images, Catalog)2019(PDF)

17 page exhibition catalogue for ‘Deep North” at the Centre for Contemporary Photography, Melbourne which Includes the essay ‘Egology and Idography’ by Henry Murphy. Design: Public Office (Downloadable .PDF)

“An elemental theme appears in many of the works that sag with green life; the water draws. The bioactivity of the rainforest is drawn earthward in pursuit of each rivulet, rivers carving corridors of natural and psychic fecundity. There is granular method in photosynthesis. Erosion is more expressive of a negative freedom. The tautological surface in Mulgrave River is water’s wit, eternally expired since the first raindrop in a puddle. Room (After Tarkovsky) is sodden when it enters and brittle when it leaves. It flows dark and humming around sheets of photographic material, carrying the agents that bring the latent image to inscribe itself in its host. ” (Excerpt from the catalogue essay)

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'Deep North' Exhibition Catalog. Design by Paul Mylecharane, essay by Henry Murphy.
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'Deep North' Exhibition Catalog. Design by Paul Mylecharane, essay by Henry Murphy.
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'Deep North' Exhibition Catalog. Design by Paul Mylecharane, essay by Henry Murphy.
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'Deep North' Exhibition Catalog. Design by Paul Mylecharane, essay by Henry Murphy.
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'Deep North' Exhibition Catalog. Design by Paul Mylecharane, essay by Henry Murphy.
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'Deep North' Exhibition Catalog. Design by Paul Mylecharane, essay by Henry Murphy.
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'Deep North' Exhibition Catalog. Design by Paul Mylecharane, essay by Henry Murphy.
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'Deep North' Exhibition Catalog. Design by Paul Mylecharane, essay by Henry Murphy.
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'Deep North' Exhibition Catalog. Design by Paul Mylecharane, essay by Henry Murphy.
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10. 'Deep North', Arena No. 162(1 Image, Magazine Article)2019(PDF)

An illustrated essay on the ‘Deep North’ series by the artist which was published in Arena Magazine edition No. 162 (Downloadable .PDF)

“There is an innate challenge posed to artists, particularly photographers who, after a significant period of absence, endeavour to describe landscapes with which they assume a certain level of intimate, nostalgic familiarity. Nostalgia, as per its Greek derivation ‘Nostos’, suggests a longing to return home, the poetry of memory with which it is so often entwined functioning as a salve by which the ache of homesickness is temporarily eased. Yet such poetic associations tend to be as fragile as they are vital, made animate within the human imagination through desire heightened by distance, and the poetry of memory is frequently destroyed upon encounter with its place of origin. In her reflection on the different mechanisms of memory explored within Marcel Proust’s literature, American poet Susan Stewart identifies the prevailing contemporary experience of nostalgia as bound largely to acts of wilful or ‘volitional’ memory, as opposed to forms of involuntary ‘Proustian’ memory, which arises spontaneously and often in response to some kind of unexpected sensory stimulus. Stewart suggests that the ‘experience’ of nostalgia, when born of volitional memory, is by nature ‘doomed to an inauthentic form’ and serves little significant function beyond providing a compensatory mechanism for our cultural surrender to linear time.

When considered in relation to the manner in which we experience and in turn translate memory through visual dialogue with landscape, such frameworks of association serve to illustrate the ever-present potential for drift towards complacency and solipsism when representing familiar environments. How might one limit the overdetermining influence of voluntary memory while allowing opportunity for involuntary and unexpected modes of association to enter the process of communing with place through photography? Furthermore, what would constitute an ‘authentic’ dialogue with place within this context of familiarity and which strategies might allow an opportunity for the nostalgic accretions of memory to fall away so that the familiar may become strange once more?” (Excerpt from essay)

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11. Bakehouse Studio Billboards(1 Image, Public Art)2019

Bakehouse Studios. Hoddle Street, Richmond.

A large paste up of a pair of images from Abigail Varney and Matthew Stanton’s joint show ‘23º and Rising’ which featured at the Centre for Contemporary Photography from 24 August – 20 October 2019.

“CCP has collaborated with legendary Melbourne music recording studios Bakehouse, on their public art project. Heavily trafficked street frontage billboards on busy Hoddle St, Richmond will feature 6 artists from our exhibition and education program with their images visible to the public for 2 weeks each.”

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12. Galmara(15 Images, Video)2018 / 2022

An video and sound project produced at ‘Galmara’, the former property and residence of the late Australian naturalists, conservationists and environmental activists Margaret and Arthur Thorsborne. The work records the rapid reclamation of the location by lowland rainforest after the dwelling was abandoned due to irreparable damage from Cyclone Yasi in 2011. ‘Galmara’ engages with the complex dynamics of ecological succession within the Wet Tropics of Queensland whilst reflecting upon themes of legacy, posterity and inheritance within the Anthropocene.

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'Galmara' HD Video Still, 2018
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'Galmara' HD Video Still, 2018
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'Galmara' HD Video Still, 2018
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'Galmara' HD Video Still, 2018
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'Galmara' HD Video Still, 2018
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'Galmara' HD Video Still, 2018
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'Galmara' HD Video Still, 2018
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'Galmara' HD Video Still, 2018
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13. CLIP Award (Finalist)(1 Image, Curatorial Photography Prize)2019

CLIP Landscape Photography Award, at the Perth Centre for Photography, King Street Arts Centre, Perth Western Australia. Judged by Monica Allende.

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'Cultural Burning, Yidinji Country #3' 2018
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14. Iris Award (Finalist)(1 Image, Curatorial Photography Prize)2018

IRIS Portrait Award, at the Perth Centre for Photography, King Street Arts Centre, Perth Western Australia. Judged by Petrina Hicks

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Dad, 2018
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16. Conversation Piece(3 Images, Solo Exhibition)2014

MARS Gallery, Melbourne.

The 16mm film installation “Conversation Piece” contemplates the nature of the portrait image in relationship to topologies of surface and duration whilst examining the imprinting, transmission and translation of the “time image” through the cinematographic process. Referencing the 7-minute exposure times typical of Julia Margaret Cameron’s 19th century photographic portraits, ‘Conversation Piece’ constitutes dual durational projections of a woman and the sea, each mirrored in scale and static frame. The ocean surface echoes and reflects the contingencies of light and human presence as a mute conversation unfolds between converging dualities – the static and animate, surface and depth, the actual and the virtual. The work was shown in the ‘Black Box’ projection space at MARS Gallery, Melbourne.

“I can recall only a few examples in art that I’ve seen that seem to explore the severed space of photographic vision so concisely. I found the presence of the projection apparatus surprisingly provocative and instructive. It seems that the projector makes itself heard as a stand in for its other, the camera. I thought of how those photographed subjects, the woman and the sea were responding (or not) to that same type of noise (albeit at a lower volume) and whether (or not) it registered in the image. For me, it’s not about the noise of the mechanism per se as a nostalgic device, but how that noise represents the way photography returns images of the world to the viewer, unconsciously distorted by the medium’s untimeliness. I think there’s some good clues in Stanton’s work for a poesis of distribution in general, as something that forms and dissolves the social body by way of its image.” Henry Murphy, 2016

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'Conversation Piece' MARS Gallery, Melbourne. 2016
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17. 'Deep North' at Wallflower(6 Images, Exhibition)2015

Wallflower Photomedia Gallery, Mildura.

‘Deep North’ is an ongoing project which examines the connection between ecology, psychology and the differing time scales within the landscapes of Far Northern Queensland. Produced over a ten year period the images chart the teeming surfaces, stilled recesses and storied topographies of these environments. The series considers the superimposition and dislocation of spatial histories within the landscape creating dialogue between their political and mythopoetic associations.

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18. '37° Sur a 19° Norte'(1 Image, Group Exhibition)2015(PDF)

Museo de la Ciudad de Cuernavaca (City Museum, Cuernavaca. Mexico). Curated by Daniel Armstrong.

Featuring: Todd Anderson-Kunert, Pia Johnson, Bradley Axiak, Wendy Beatty, Luke Pellatt, Christopher Koller, David Stephenson & Martin Walch, Lesley Duxbury, Harry Nankin, Matthew Stanton, David Ashley Kerr, Kristian Haggblom, Linsey Gosper, Ernesto Rios, Daniel Armstrong.

“The title for this exhibition (‘37° Sur a 19° Norte: Fotografía contemporánea de Australia’) refers to the Latitude of Melbourne, Australia and Cuernavaca, Mexico. It invites a sense of connection and sharing, not only between our distant landscapes and cultures but also between the feelings and emotions that we all experience in response to the places in which we live and the moments which make up our daily lives.

15 contemporary photographers, most of whom are located in the southern part of the Australian continent, present their personal and softly spoken visions of some particular aspect of Australian place and space.

Each of the artist offers a small series of images with subjects ranging from landscapes, which allude to the vastness of Australian space, to interior spaces which reflect the personal and private moments within the lives of those that inhabits these locations.”

From the statement by curator Daniel Armstrong

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19. Slide Night #2(3 Images, Exhibition)2014

Westspace, Melbourne.

“Slide Night is an experimental project that showcases 3 slides each by 7 invited artists within a slide night format. Much like traditional slide nights, Slide Night is full of interruptions and informal discussions from audience members. Slide Night audience members are invited to critically engage with slide content and artist ideas. Through the ensuing photographic conversations, we aim to foster discussions to form new dialogues on photography.”

Taking the form of projected unique state silver gelatine pinhole transparencies this series is an exploration of the threshold between indexicality and diffraction. Photography’s conflation of time and space into surface are examined in dialogue with Alvin Lucier’s inquiry into the spatio-temporal decay of recorded sound.

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'Dracaena Fragrans' Unique state 35mm monochrome transparency. Westspace Slide Night, Melbourne. 2013
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'Kitty' Unique state 35mm monochrome transparency. Westspace Slide Night, Melbourne. 2013
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'15' 23" After Alvin Lucier' Unique state 35mm monochrome transparency. Westspace Slide Night, Melbourne. 2013
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20. 'Calling the shots'(3 Images, Book Review)2014(PDF)

A Review of ‘Calling the Shots—Aboriginal Photographies’, (edited by Jane Lydon) which was published in Arena Magazine No. 134 (Downloadable .PDF)

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21. Bristol Biennial(3 Images, Biennial)2012

‘Pulse of Duration’ Looking Glass Art Space, Bristol. UK

Featuring: Darn Thorn, Polly Stanton, Matthew Stanton

“In his treatise on cinema ‘Sculpting in Time’ Andrei Tarkovsky introduces his notion of ‘time pressure’ as a property that he perceived to be intrinsic to the cinematic medium. Be it embodied within a singular take, or flowing within a sequence, time pressure resists the subjugation of the experience of cinematic time to the demands of movement as traditionally codified in cinema through techniques of montage. Unlike the linear tendencies of motion based imagery Tarkovsky saw in cinematic time the potential to point to that which lay beyond the events in the frame offering the audience a potential Proustian portal through which time, be it “lost, or spent, or not yet had” could be reclaimed.

This conception of cinematic duration and its rich potential for virtual mnemosis are critical touchstones between the film and video works of Artists, Polly Stanton, Darn Thorn and Matthew Stanton. Whilst acknowledging Tarkovsky’s conception of “time pressure’ to be bound in part to a subjectivity borne of post-war European modernism, each artist knowingly embraces the principle as an opportunity of inquiry into the relationship between topologies of space and duration along with the processes of imprinting, transmission and translation of the ‘time image’ as a proxy for shared and individual memory.”

(From the Bristol Biennial Catalogue.)

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22. AURA: the Haunted Image(3 Images, Group Exhibition)2011

Level 17 Artspace, Melbourne. Curated by Dr Stefan Schutt.

Featuring: Cath Barcan, Marsha Berry, Peter Burke, Greg Giannis, Gina Kalabishis, Deen Keep, Mark Holsworth, Sue Kneebone, Matthew Stanton & Irene Wellm

“Aura explores a variety of themes related to the narrative constructions of family histories which have been derived through the medium of photography. Using old and recent photographs, the thirteen artists in this exhibition have produced works comprising a variety of mediums – from digital photography and new media to installation – through which they explore the rather complex narratives of their own families.”

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23. The Matryoshka Principle(2 Images, Exhibition)2008

Bus Projects, Melbourne. Curated by Catherine Bourne

Featuring: Catherine Bourne, Nick Pensa, Reghan de Mather, Natasha Sutila, Darran McCrann, Victoria Lee, Celeste Potter, Ben Morley, Matthew Stanton, Maria-Luisa Marino.

“‘The Matryoshka Principle’ brings together ten local visual artists and ten sets of blank Matryoshka dolls at Bus Gallery. A set of Matryoshkas consists of a wooden figure which can be pulled apart to reveal another figure of the same sort inside. It has, in turn, another figure inside, and so on. Matryoshkas are often designed to follow a particular theme, for instance peasant girls in traditional dress, but the theme can be almost anything, ranging from fairy-tale characters to Soviet leaders. They are also used metaphorically, as a design paradigm, known as the matryoshka principle, or nested doll principle. It denotes a recognisable relationship of “similar object-within-object” that appears in the design of many other natural and man-made objects.

As a basis and as a starting point for their work, the artists have taken inspiration from the historical, cultural and metaphorical content of the artefacts, and have developed their Matryoshka sets into personal responses. Artists were encouraged to be innovative, with the only parameters being the doll as canvas, the aim being to explore a range of themes and experiences through the vehicle of the doll.”

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24. Obscura(1 Image, Group Exhibition)2007

TCB Art, Melbourne. Curated by Timothy Hillier.

Featuring: Ali McCann, Kate Robertson, Ross Coulter, TImothy Hillier, Conor O’Brien, Michael Ciavarella, Allison Gibbs.

‘Prescience #2’ is a three screen, four minute video piece that considers the irresolvable relationship between the stasis of photography and the desire as evoked in Catherine Upton’s ‘Memory’s Apostle’ “to possess the presence of that which is forever absent”.

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‘Prescience’ - ‘Obscura’ TCB Art inc. Melbourne, 2007 (Installation View)
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25. NPPP 2007(1 Image, Exhibition)2007

National Photographic Portrait Prize exhibition 2007, National Portrait Gallery, Canberra.

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Kody, 2007
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26. Prescience(7 Images, Series)2003
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'Merri Creek' Selenium toned Silver Gelatin Contact Print. 20 x 25 cm
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'Jack' Selenium toned Silver Gelatin Contact Print. 20 x 25 cm
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'Merri Creek' Selenium toned Silver Gelatin Contact Print. 20 x 25 cm
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'Merri Creek' Selenium toned Silver Gelatin Contact Print. 20 x 25 cm
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'Cara' Selenium toned Silver Gelatin Contact Print. 20 x 25 cm
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'Cara' Selenium toned Silver Gelatin Contact Print. 20 x 25 cm
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'Merri Creek' Selenium toned Silver Gelatin Contact Print. 20 x 25 cm
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27. Belt Piece(1 Image, Super 8 Ektachrome looped projection.)2002
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