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Matthew Challenger

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My creative practice is located at the intersection between art and graphic design.
As a graphic designer, my approach is unconventional, in that most of my projects are self-initiated and pursue a research
interest of my own, rather than fulfilling a brief set by a client. My work is informed and directed by my own interests and
ideas, and this is clearly visible in the graphics and visuals I produce. Whilst I possess strong graphic design skills which
I believe could steer me towards traditional employment, I don’t see my future leading in this direction and would prefer to
pursue a career path which will challenge me and develop my skills whilst allowing me to remain an independent practitioner.
My practice has become quite multi-faceted, with several parts all working alongside each other. I have outlined some of the
major themes of my work below.
-Collections (found and specific items). I collect mainly printed materials which have a very specific every day, unimportant or
ordinary quality – items which were not designed in a manner which could be considered artistic or creative. The recent focus
of my collection has been used and discarded scratch cards. I have also been collecting other forms of vernacular ephemera such
stamps, takeaway menus and taxi business cards. I plan on exhibiting my collection in the next few months. Certain objects
become the focus of my attention normally when I start seeing repartition in an object. I have to keep this restriction in place
to limit what I collect otherwise these items would just be rubbish.
-Psychogeography is becoming a major part of my work. I regard certain patterns, locations or routines of walking as an
important part of my collecting process as it helps spontaneously generate content for my collections. Also I feel it’s really
important for a creative individual to be part of their surroundings, finding inspiration in the everyday. “Being an artist
doesn’t mean that you don’t have to participate in the world, quite the opposite, the trick is to let the real world participate
in your art.” City Racing. I feel from walking that I achieve an important narrative, even if that isn’t clear in the work at
the moment, or as in the collection of items; it is an underlying foundation to the production and thinking behind the work.
-Documentation/photography (mixed media in capturing environment) I like the idea of how this body of work might be viewed or
considered in years to come. Through recent photographic documentation of the local area of Salford I have noticed many changes
— for example the changes to the flats opposite the university of which I have images both before and after the building work
was completed; and also the changes around East Ordsall Lane and the building work that is taking place there. Realising that
my photographic work has witnessed and recorded these changes is what has driven the more recent push to expand this area in my
work. Capturing a time and place that is going to change. Trying to get a feel of what is happening. I feel this is important
to capture for the future. In a broader sense, I am interested in how these photographs might be paired with the collections to
form a bigger body of work.

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