The Play of Positive and Negative Forms: Architectural Sculptures by Matthew Simmonds

The themes of positive and negative form, the significance of light and darkness, and the relationship between nature and human endeavour come together in the work of British artist Matthew Simmonds, who creates architectural spaces on a small scale.

The solid stone into which the sculptures are carved is opened up to reveal intricate internal worlds in which the changing viewpoint and illumination play a strong role in defining the sculptures. The works are inspired by a life-long fascination of stone buildings, and draws on skills that Simmonds learnt as an architectural stone carver. Sacred architecture is his central theme.

The artworks can be read as metaphors for the tendency of the human mind and will to seek and devise order, structure and meaning out of nebulous, thick, opaque chaos—and therefore, a way through and beyond.

Romanesque Stone II © Matthew Simmonds

Matthew Simmonds graduated with an honours degree in history of art from the University of East Anglia in 1984, specialising in the art and architecture of the medieval period. After working for several years as an illustrator, in 1991 he studied architectural stone carving at Weymouth technical college. He has worked on the restoration of several major English national monuments, most importantly Westminster Abbey and the cathedrals of Salisbury and Ely.

In 1997, he transferred to Pietrasanta, Italy, where he specialised in fine classical ornament in marble. He gained his first recognition as a sculptor in 1999 after winning first prize at the second international sculpture symposium of Verona. Since then he has participated in several sculpture symposia worldwide and has exhibited in the UK, Italy, Germany, Denmark, China, the UAE, Australia and the USA. In 2014, he moved with his family to Denmark where he now lives and works.

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The Undiscovered Country © Matthew Simmonds
Tetraconch © Matthew Simmonds
Stepwell © Matthew Simmonds
Rotunda © Matthew Simmonds
Regular Arrangement of Domed Spaces © Matthew Simmonds
Fragment VIII © Matthew Simmonds
Exedra © Matthew Simmonds
Essay in Perpendicular © Matthew Simmonds
Essay in Baroque Space
Essay in Baroque Space © Matthew Simmonds
Asthall © Matthew Simmonds