michael matthews – born in canada. studies in composition, professor – university of manitoba, canada, director, university of manitoba computer music studio. awards/resedencies in belgrade, mexico city, morelia, szombathely, winnipeg, various publications, including bis, cec, centredisques, cero, conucalta, parma, tnc, performances, concerts, projects and exhibitions worldwide, including argentina, canada, denmark, germany, hong kong, hungary, korea, mexico, netherlands, poland, russia, slovenia, spain, ukraine, usa. lives and works in berlin as a photographer and composer.

geboren in kanada. studium in komposition. professor an der universität manitoba, kanada, direktor des studios für elektroakustische musik an der universität manitoba, auszeichnungen/residenzaufenthalte u.a. in belgrad, mexiko stadt, morelia, szombathely, winnipeg, viele musikveröffentlichungen u.a. bei BIS, cec, centredisques, cero, conucalta, parma, tnc, konzerte, projekte und ausstellungen weltweit, u.a. in argentinien, dänemark, deutschland, hong kong, kanada, korea, mexiko, niederlande, polen, russland, slowenien, spanien, ukraine, ungarn, usa. lebt und arbeitet als komponist und fotograf in berlin.

www.michaelmatthews.net — music/musik

all photos © michael matthews

selected exhibitions

2022 – Faces of Humanity. Rise With Art Gallery, Los Angeles.

2022 – International Photography Juried Exhibition. International Photography Hall of Fame and Museum, St. Louis.

2022 – Partituren. Irving Arts Center, Irving, Texas. (EA)

2021 – At Night. Texas Photographic Society. Museum of the Big Bend, Alpine, Texas.

2020 – Partituren. Musical Bridges Art Gallery, San Antonio, Texas. (EA)

2020 – Fotoseptiembre USA Festival, San Antonio, Texas.

2020 – Partituren.  Berlin Month of Photography OFF, Torstraße Gallery, Berlin, Germany..

2019 – Partituren. Kunstraum Braugasse, Hoyerswerda, Germany. (EA)

2019 – Man with Turban, exhibited in "The Portrait". The Darkroom Gallery, Essex Junction, Vermont.


Gibbous Moon

by Dennis Cooley and Michael Matthews; At Bay Press, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, 2021; ISBN: 9781988168531

Untitled photo

A gibbous moon arrives in shadow and light. First at waxing then at waning, two moons in one cycle just shy of full. Poet Dennis Cooley’s eloquent words merge with photographer/composer Michael Matthews’ decadent abstract photographs. These two celebrated artists draw connections and parallels to each other’s masterful art forms, tying the two together seamlessly. The antecedent and subsequent illuminate the night sky with their dance; the shadows and the light taking turns at showing us the way through the darkness.


Clever wordplay, stunning photographs, immaculately designed and lavishly constructed, a full-colour poetry collection with the gloss and glamour of a coffee table art book. ​ – Winnipeg Free Press

Michael Matthews's evocative and haunting photographs elicit memories of a time before language. Equally eloquent, Dennis Cooley's words hint, like a barely felt breath, of a way inside. Both artists refuse to settle down, allowing audiences to interpret the complex spaces between word and image. – Diana Thorneycroft

What happens when words walk the line of comprehensibility and its Other, when images one knows are based in the “visible” are made “abstract,” that is drawn from the visible into an entirely different terrain where the eye and brain are out to sea? What happens when a great poet and a great artist – originally a composer; now a composer and photographer – in other words, two great poets, juxtapose their images? Alchemy is the closest descriptor I can come up with. But rather than of opposites, the conjoining here is of complementary means of expression, of word and image. The result is a kind of transmutation from one medium into another, alchemy of a kind that the colours of camera-based image making conjure, alchemy of a kind that the placement of word/fragment next to (fragmented) word elicit. Cooley quotes P.B. Shelley: “Poetry lifts the veil from the hidden beauty of the world, and makes familiar objects be as if they were not familiar.” Were Shelley alive today, that is what he would say of Matthews’ photographs as well as the poems. The book’s title suggests the cosmic, and indeed, the poems invoke it (the Sun, Moon, stars, nebulae, black holes) but always from the vantage point of Earth, an act of tethering: “she has been pulling / the thick thread of horizon / through the eyes of the sun” and “the robins… do their level best to wrap the words in their red attention / peg down the high blue sky.” And yet the “gibbous moon” “..one day will / roll off like a lumpy rock and abandon us.” The cosmic is only cosmic by virtue of point of view. This push and pull, however, induces a sense of floating. By avoiding or transforming almost all points of visual reference, the images also send us into a space of uncertain vantage point, of indefinite scale, of disorientation, while invoking the rainbow colours of Earth, pushing us away and drawing us back: “novae boiling in distant beauty / every second star moving to death or life / in these our small and infinitesimal lives.” So what does happen, then? The tension between media of expression, between earthbound and unbounded, between orientation and disorientation is what is thematized, or rather, induced here. And the result is a kind of tethering, of love, a sensation of diaphanous gold. – Oliver A. I. Botar

Powered by SmugMug Owner Log In