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Kitchen Window

01 September 2022 - 24 September 2022

Matthew Draper’s fourth solo exhibition at The Gallery is a celebration of his ongoing Kitchen Window series – a group of dramatic pastels of the Edinburgh Skyline. Draper crushes, mixes and sands back layers of pure colour on the paper in a process which is both delicate and gestural.

Dominated by Arthur’s Seat the view stretches from the Easter Road Stadium in the east to the castle in the west. Every day I witness different weather and atmospheric conditions. Huge skies and cloud formations that are constantly moving across the city, sunrises and sunsets, clear still days, the haar, driving rain and differing types of light. The view is constantly changing, and no two days are the same. However the backdrop, or as I like to think about it ‘the composition’; Arthur’s Seat, the monuments on Calton Hill, the cliff edge of the Crags and the architecture of Edinburgh, whatever the weather or the nature of the light is the same.

Matthew Draper

Meet the Artist

Born: 1973
Place of Birth: Staffordshire

Matthew Draper identifies himself principally as a draughtsman; drawing being the most unencumbered and immediate form of image-making. His work is made with an intense and energetic immediacy, working instinctively rather than methodically, keeping him physically and emotionally involved in the process. He crushes soft pastels in his hands, rubbing the dust into the paper in wide sweeps of colour, gradually manipulating the material to build up a thick layered surface using the ball of his thumb or the heel of his hand.

He is interested in and influenced by the dramatic imagery of eighteenth and nineteenth century painting. He admires the idea of the contemplation of landscape in the Romantic spirit, found in the work of the German Romantics like Caspar David Friedrich and the notion of the grandeur of the landscape as expressed in the work of the American subliminal painters like Sanford Robinson Gifford and Frederic Edwin Church. These artists adopted the term ‘Luminism’, defined as light in the landscape and the effect that light has on the landscape and objects within it.

As a contemporary artist choosing to adopt this approach to light in the landscape, his interest is not to make straight forward topographical images that are illustrations of place. Instead he is attempting to make imagery that is descriptive of the circumstances under which the subject is viewed; images which convey a sense of place. The drawings are emotional reactions to events and experiences evolving in front of him; events happening or about to happen. The images become like fading memories or captured moments in time. The making of the work is in itself a set of actions and events which creates a harmony between his process and his interpretation of the subject.

Matthew Draper was the subject of a solo exhibition in April 2019, Sound of Raasay. To watch edited highlights of his Artist Talk, please click here.

View Matthew Draper’s prints here.



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