Matthew Lewis Butel
I moved to Calgary 6 years ago from Muscat, Oman in the Middle East, about 4 hours driving distance from Dubai where I grew up for most of my childhood. It doesn’t snow over there, and so I used to just skate. Calgary was the first time I stepped on snow and I fell in love with it and snowboarding. Boarding, to me is the most amazing synthesis of creativity, and culture. It embodies everything that excites me; the art, graphics of boards, products, stickers, the culture and environment. Etc. I doodled overseas, so when I moved to Calgary, I continued drawing and took art classes through high school. The more I fell in love with snowboarding and skateboarding, the more I practiced art, and eventually decided to get serious about it.
I’m 21 years old in my 4th (last) year at the Alberta College of Art and Design Studying for a Bachelor of Fine Arts, majoring in painting. I have shown in group exhibitions in Calgary, and have done work for Clyde Snowboards and Red Baron Apparel. My work is a combination of styles, which includes Fibre work using bleach discharge, Japanese Shibori techniques, indigo, potassium, and citric acid dyes, the rusting of fabrics with metal and the use of natural dyes such as logwood and bark. I have worked for a long time as a collage artist using mixed media, acrylic, paint markers, and hand drawn shape collages. I am now recently dabbing into optical art and illusions and am very interested and intrigued as to where it is going.
“Snowboarding and skateboarding have had a huge influence on my decision to make art. They train me to think in a different way and to see more possibilities in ordinary urban landscapes, to use my environment in an unconventional way. These two board sports open my eyes to the potential of something seemingly useless.”
/ Matthew Butel