Matt Lee | The Open College of the Arts

Matt Lee

I am an artist, illustrator, educator and design consultant based in London.

My creative art practice encompasses analogue and digital processes, drawing, collage, photography and video. My work is concerned with semiotic processes for constructing, framing and manipulating visual messages and exploring themes of presence/ absence and sense/ nonsense. What exists outside of the image frame? How do we visually interpret nonsense? These are questions that I find myself returning to. I am interested in the language of illustration within an expanded field and my research interests include drawing as process, philosophy of digital media and the rhetoric of framing.

I have exhibited my work internationally, including the Mall Galleries in London, the Centre Pompidou in Paris and Alliance Francaise in Delhi. Recent exhibitions include ‘All You Can Eat’ with Hero of Switzerland illustration collective in London, Roman Susan Art Foundation in Chicago, Bath Fringe Arts Festival, 51zero Moving Image and Contemporary Art Festival in Canterbury and The Wrong Epicentre in Valencia. As a freelance illustrator, I have worked for clients across editorial, publishing and advertising. My work has been recognised and published in surveys of contemporary illustration by Gestalten, AVA Publishing, Hiii Illustration, Creative Review, Duncan Baird Publishing, and the Association of Illustrators.

Between 2007 and 2017 I worked as a senior lecturer at Srishti Institute of Art, Design and Technology in Bangalore, where I founded the Storybook Lab, led contextual art projects and taught foundation, undergraduate and postgraduate courses in illustration, visual communication and art practice. While at Srishti I ran several client-led projects, including an experimental design lab in partnership with Pratham Books, India’s largest children’s book publisher and the ‘Treasured Islands Book Design & Illustration Project’ in collaboration with ANET, Dakshin and the Department of Education in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands.

I am currently a visiting tutor on the BA (Hons) Illustration course at Arts University Bournemouth and have been a visiting lecturer on the MA Fine Art Digital course at Camberwell College of Arts. I encourage students to learn from practical experience and critical reflection in order to form a personal visual vocabulary. My aim is to offer supportive feedback in an inclusive environment that provides everyone with a voice, nurtures creative confidence, decision-making, a passion for the subject and facilitates each individual student’s aspirations.

I hold a BA in Design: Illustration from Plymouth University and an MA in Visual Arts: Digital Arts from Camberwell College of Arts, University of the Arts London, for which I received a Professional Preparation Masters Award from the Arts & Humanities Research Council.

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