Joanne Matthews is a queer artist based in Edinburgh, UK, working collaboratively across performance, audio, video, installation, photography, and drawing. Their projects are often context-dependent, responding to locations and social-political contexts. Their work is shaped through ongoing research into deep ecology.
For their SALT residency Joanne will explore connections between capitalism, rising sea levels and over-salination as a starting point, using the Joppa Salt Pans as a jumping off point; once a site of fossil-fuel powered salt production. Joanne will explore a process that involves testing speculative vocal-led sound environments and crystallised artefacts as remnants.
“In some parts of the sea, the glaciers melt and the sea levels rise, salinity decreases along with the diversity of species. As the water warms, it expands and the volume increases even further, but the sea quality reduces. In other areas of the sea, as water heats and evaporates, salinity increases and with it reduces diversity. As neoliberal capitalism expands its oppressive policies and narratives, only a bland and palatable version of life is credible in the mainstream. The volume (of either salt or water) increases and the quality of life decreases.”
Joanne Matthews recently received a VACMA 2021 Award to start research on a collection of sonic sculptures about bog ecologies. Recent commissions include For Portobello, 2050, for Art Walk Porty 2021 (Edinburgh), When are you going to cut the grass? for IUCN World Conservation Conference 2021 (Marseille) and Wild Philosophy, 2018 part of DIY by Live Art Development Agency (London) and Chapter Arts Centre (Cardiff). They have been an artist in residence at Edinburgh Sculpture Workshop (Edinburgh), Burnieshed (Perthshire) and Scottish Sculpture Workshop (Aberdeen) as part of their open access programme. They show their work across the UK with their sound art being played across artist-led radio stations including Radiophrenia, NTS, As if radio and EHFM where they have a regular show.
Alongside their artist practice, Joanne is dedicated to supporting artists' development, working for the past ten years as a curator, producer, and researcher leading and producing artists’ projects, across visual art, performance art, dance, and socially engaged practice. Currently they are working as freelance producer on projects with Dance Base (Edinburgh), Yaraqa (Lebanon) and Aberdeen Performing Arts.