Matthew Mallia – Local Artist

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Drawing inspiration from everyday life and skateboarding fuels Matthew’s creativity which finds expression in his artwork that is as fresh and individual as he is – we explore his world.

> Where did you discover you passion for art?
For as long as I can remember, I’ve been interested in drawing and creating pictures, but it’s only been the last few years that I realised the thing that drives me to do that is never going to go away. Whether I’m being productive or not, the desire to create something is consuming, and it’s always been that way and is most likely the basis for most of my actions and reactions. 

I don’t know if I would call what I have a passion for art, as much as a need to release a thought or idea. And as for discovery … I think it discovered me first.

> Living in Tuncurry, what do you enjoy most about the area?

It’s not that it’s Tuncurry. It’s that I can walk, ride, or skate whenever I leave the house. Living in town for me means saving a bit of money – less wear on my car and less contribution to destroying the environment. Push more, drive less. I don’t have any real town pride or anything – it’s just were I’m at now, and if an opportunity presents itself and I am aware of it, I will be likely to go with it.

> The Secret Gallery is new. What is the idea behind the concept?

The Secret Gallery is almost real. I had been planning to do a exhibition of my own at my own expense, just to have the experience of a show. After the venue found me it was all on, and then I had to produce invites and posters, on which I wrote “The secret gallery presents”,  and then the idea of keeping the space going and offering it to other artists like myself to exhibit and possibly sell some work started to sound good. I would like to see more contemporary youth culture type of work. You wouldn’t necessarily have to be young, but youthful and excited about something. That’s what I personally would like to see more of in the area.

One of the great pieces from The Secret Gallery

One of the great pieces from The Secret Gallery

> How would you describe your style of work?

Well, I’d call it illustrative … simple, slightly dark, but slightly humorous. Maybe conceptual, and whimsical is another word I hear people say when describing what they think of my work. But you know, come and have a look and put me and my style of work into wherever it fits best for you. If everyone’s perception was the same, it would be extremely boring and uninspiring.

> Do you have a favourite medium to work with?

At the moment I am using ink and charcoal a lot, but am always keen to add something new to the picture. If I see something I like – a colour, texture, or whatever, I’ll try and incorporate that and see what happens. I guess at the moment it would be charcoal; I use it on any surface it will stick to.

> Do you have a favourite piece in the Mystery, Magic and Nonsense collection?

I don’t know about that. My drawings and paintings adopt the same concepts as one another, though they are completely different visually. And there are also the palettes that I’ve been making into separate pieces of work. In saying that, I do feel that the image on the invitations and posters pretty much delivers where I’m at. Maybe that’s why it has become the spokesperson for this show.

The Manning is a melting pot for artistic talent

The Manning is a melting pot for artistic talent

> The Manning Great Lakes is a melting pot for artistic talent. What is the biggest hurdle facing up and coming artists?

There are a lot of artists here, and I think the biggest hurdle for any artist anywhere is knowing that you are an artist. And if you have something to say or show, it doesn’t matter how you say or show it – there is an audience; if there is an audience, there is art. It doesn’t matter if it’s light and fluffy, or negative, aggressive, and confronting if it is sincere and a part of your belief system; it’s art, and it’s not arguable. Don’t think; KNOW. 

> What artists do you look up to?

I’ve looked up to heaps of people, from friends, to bands to artists. It was mostly friends and my relationships with them that inspired me to draw, and bands, artists, and individual thinkers that provoked new thoughts and directions for me to look forward to. 

I am always looking for something to shock me into a place I haven’t been or I can relate to mentally. There are way too many to list, and to mention any particular one would give someone a reason to like me or write me off, because of that one thing with really knowing.

> Where do you find the inspiration for your works?

I think I pretty much just covered this question. Though I would like to add that art is everywhere. For me, it was also skateboarding and skate culture that opened me up to a lot of creativity. It inspired me to think more about alternatives and to question everything and to learn to respect things that are real, even if it’s not my style. Skateboarding is a very diverse and gratefully misunderstood culture. 

> Thank you Matthew.

The Secret Gallery is located at 8 Wharf Street Forster. For more information, phone Matthew on 0420440738.

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