Artist’s library project on show

Matthew in his studio with paintings of the Odeon Cinema and Harrogate Boxing Club.
Matthew in his studio with paintings of the Odeon Cinema and Harrogate Boxing Club.

A contemporary exhibition by a Harrogate-based artist has opened at the town’s library on Victoria Avenue.

The show by Matthew Wyatt features a series of portraits of Harrogate Library in oil paint and photographs that celebrates the Library as a cultural centre within the community.

Matthew said: “I have always had an affinity with the library as a sanctuary of learning and inspiration.

“I admire the way it offers free education to anyone and in the same way allows the chance for anybody to exhibit and curate artwork as an opportunity to showcase their work and connect with the community.”

Matthew graduated from Wimbledon School of Art with a degree in Fine Art ten years ago. Since then he has spent some of his time teaching in prisons.

After winning the Harrogate Open painting competition in 2003 Matthew says living in Harrogate he lost some of his enthuasiasm and inspiration for making art.

However, he recently rediscovered his enthusiasm for art and had a change of heart, starting a part-time MA in Art and Design at Leeds Metropolitan University. He chose to paint Harrogate Library from life on an easel as a starting point.

He said: “This naturally lead to other ideas which will hopefully progress one day into a professional practice.”

Also featured in the exhibition are paintings of other local cultural venues. He has also painted the Odeon cinema in Harrogate and inside the Harrogate Boxing Club.

The exhibition, which runs over National Library Day on Saturday, is on until February 16. Matthew will be giving a talk on his work at the library at 2pm on Saturday. The talk is free and open to everyone.