MA Fine Art graduate Matthew Gough has been selected for the prestigious Emergency 2017 exhibition at Aspex Gallery, Portsmouth.

Aspex Gallery, Portsmouth’s leading contemporary art gallery, has announced the artist selection for the eighth incarnation of EMERGENCY, the gallery’s international open submission exhibition.

Matthew was selected from an initial application of over three-hundred emerging artists, of which just eight were selected. The panel included Joanne Bushnell, Director of Aspex, Lindsay Friend, Director Image Music Text Gallery, Cathy Lomax, Artist and Director of Transition Gallery, and Adam Sutherland, Director of Grizedale Arts.

The group exhibition opens at Aspex on 8 December 2017. During the show a winner will be chosen to receive a solo exhibition in 2019, as well as a fee of £1,000 to support the development of new work.

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.

Describing his work, 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. His second piece, 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.”