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Matthew spent 2022 painting twenty portraits of local people from his home town of Beeston. 

Why did Matthew start this project?


He says, “I wanted to do a project where I could meet the people I was painting, get a sense of who they were and capture that in a portrait. During lockdown I was buying photos from art schools to paint, but you are painting people who you do not know anything about . . . it’s just not the same.


Because I usually paint in the night, I prefer not to ask people to 'sit', painting them from life. I take lots of reference photos and create the painting I want from them . . I’m not recreating the photos, but constructing a portrait using the photos as a reference.”

What people said about the exhibition:

"Wonderful work, congratulations! Love your hands and plants and furniture and perspective . . . "

"Wonderful exhibition! The art work portraying people from Beeston is such an original idea!"

"So pleased to see this wonderful exhibition, with such a variety of sitters. An amazing talent!"

"The hands! Speak for themselves."

"Just fabulous, love the expression and especially the hands."

"Joyous, sad, fascinating. Covering every spectrum. Wonderful!"

"A great exhibition, really enjoyed it."

"A great representation of our local community, and painted in a captivating way – nice style!"

"A fascinating representation of Beeston. Wouldn’t have known about these people without this exhibition."

Prints of the portraits can be purchased here.

Tour Video

Watch a short video showing all the paintings from the exhibition, recorded just before the private view.


Jay Martin
Brian Rorison
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