IONAWR – An Exhibition Of Rodney Matthews art

Private Viewing: 13th January 2016 / Public Viewing: 14th January 2016 to 24th February 2016
The Bishop’s Palace, Wells, Somerset, BA5 2PD
This exhibition ‘Ionawr’, the Welsh word for January, encapsulates Matthews’ artistic career as both a science fiction and fantasy artist. On display are his rich creations, which he considers to be exaggerations or extensions of natural forms; strange creatures, exotic plants and lavish landscapes, as well as fantastical cities and machines.

Matthews was born in 1945 in Paulton, North Somerset. Fascinated by nature from an early age, he spent most of his time outdoors studying the local flora and fauna. He enjoyed art and related subjects at school, but had little interest in academic subjects. He worked briefly with his father, before applying for a commercial design course at the West of England College of Art. Upon leaving college, Matthews worked for an advertising agency, before turning freelance in 1970.
He soon broke into the fields for which he has become famous – posters, book covers and record cover design. His images have been published worldwide, selling millions in poster format, as well as on international editions of calendars, jigsaw puzzles, notecards, postcards, t-shirts and even snowboards. Since his first record sleeve for Thin Lizzy back in 1969, he has produced over 130 record covers for well-known rock bands, including artists such as Asia, Magnum, Nazareth, Praying Mantis and Rick Wakeman. Matthews has ventured into other fields. In the 1990s, with the late Gerry Anderson of ‘Thunderbirds’ fame, he completed ‘Lavender Castle’, an animated children’s series. Matthews has also supplied concept designs for computer games and movies.
His originals have been exhibited throughout the UK and Europe. Whilst exhibiting at the Chris Beetles Gallery in London’s West End, he met English comedian, actor, writer and producer John Cleese. With a particular fondness for Matthews’ illustrative pieces, Cleese has become a collector of his work.
John Cleese (2008) – “Michelangelo, Manet, Monet, Matisse, Munch, Modrian and Matthews. All my favourite artists begin with an ‘M’. And so, Rodney Matthews is generally acknowledged to be among the greatest artists that have ever lived. Need I say more?”

About David Farrell

General Manager and 'THE' competition guy at Manager of The Goddanm Electric, Tour manager for Serpentine, and ex-general Dogsbody at Media partner to numerous bands. Also takes photos, writes reviews and likes classic rock, with a touch of thrash to get the blood flowing.
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