Born in Castleford, Yorkshire and now based in London, Mat has been making art all of his life. His varied practice utilises found objects, industrial materials and more traditional mediums such cast bronze, plaster and resin. His extensive body of work ranges from small wall panels to large freestanding installations.
An essential part of his working process is his constantly evolving materials bank, kept fresh by visits to junk shops, dumps, skips, parks and donations from friends, family and colleagues.
Mat makes sculptural pieces that reinterpret familiar subjects and materials. He challenges us to examine the visual symbols and incidental forms that we take for granted as we move through our everyday lives, jolting us out of the world we know to somewhere slightly removed from reality.
Of his practice, Mat says: ‘I love the incidental, letting pieces evolve naturally and trusting instinctive decisions over which I have no control… Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t; the challenge is being selective about which is which. This process can take years or minutes.’
One of the best pieces of advice I was given early on in my career was: ‘If you have an idea, make it.’ His influences range from Assyrian friezes, the work of Kurt Schwitters, the drawings and words of Spike Milligan.
Mat Kemp has degrees from Newcastle University (Fine Art), The Royal College of Art (Bronze Casting) and the Instituto Statale D'Art Florence (Sculpture).