MA Fine Art student Matthew Gough has two paintings selected for the prestigious 2017 New Contemporaries exhibition.

Inspired by mid-century design, interiors, and folk art, Matthew Gough’s work explores painterly language and how this can be used to visually describe a space. Ennui, absence and loneliness are key themes; other ideas that inform his practice include material culture, nostalgia, and play.

Matthew said: “Imagined England (2016) depicts a strange English game played on horseback with a huge pink ball. The game may be real or imagined; it serves as an attempt to create a false history, a folk depiction of a popular pastime.

“Portrait (2016) is a painting of a painting which, when seen from this oblique angle, becomes abstract and obscure; this stands in contrast to the surrounding room which is clearly described.

“I enjoy these kinds of enigmas in the paintings I make, as it creates a sense of ambiguity and leaves room for the viewer to make their own interpretation.”

New Contemporaries is the leading organisation supporting emergent art practice from UK art schools. Since 1949 it has consistently provided a critical platform for new and recent fine art graduates primarily by means of an annual, nationally touring exhibition. Participants are selected by a panel comprising influential art figures including curators, writers, and artists often who have themselves previously been a part of the New Contemporaries, and a rigorous process that considers the work within a broad cultural context.