Categories ArtPosted on

Matthew Tate at the Menier Gallery: Lost in Shadows


If there’s one thing that unifies illustrator Matthew Tate’s thought-provoking and diverse body of work, it’s the quality of mystery across all the disciplines in which he practises. Even the black and white landscapes in Vietnam seem steeped in a narrative that we, as observers, cannot quite penetrate. SEEN particularly liked the Vatican photographs in black and white, the monochrome lending these sacred spaces something of Hammer Horror, with the arm of a statue reaching out in supplication or blessing.

canada Matthew Tate

rome Matthew Tate

The triptych of prints ‘This Will Kill That’ that greets the viewer upon entering the gallery is outstanding. Inspired by the philosophies of Victor Hugo, the figures within hint at the mythic underpinnings of this essay, encapsulating drama and epic scope. SEEN also liked the Grief trilogy of prints which embodied the three stages of grief according to Buddhist ideals. Painted in ink and bleach, the pictures had a stark simplicity that resonated powerfully. Grief comes to us all, in one form or another.


Another stand-out for SEEN was the blue tiger piece that Tate created during his residency at King Edward’s School, Witley. Using images and objects found in the V&A, Tate has extended their meaning, while at the same time shrouding them in something undefinable; a transformative act that seems infinite in its possibilities. Each observer brings their own interpretation, of course. As Degas said ‘Art is not what you see, but what you make others see.’ For SEEN, much of Tate’s work spoke to her on a personal level, being familiar with with Tipu’s Tiger from early childhood.

PEACOCK Stages of Grief (Anger)

I think the power of Tate’s vision lies in his use of story in the sense that his themes are universal (grief, history, landscape) but he brings a particular aesthetic appreciation of these images and therein lies the mystery of them. It seems an unconscious process yet SEEN wonders if that is not the purpose of art – to render the living world and its images in such a way that it connects to us on a conscious level while still retaining its inherent mystery.

Matthew Tate’s exhibition is on until the 8th April; another in a series of always interesting work going on at the Menier Gallery, in an area of London that is constantly evolving. SEEN will be watching Tate’s career with great interest.

Menier Gallery
51 Southwark Street

Seen this week

Categories FashionPosted on

MO-GA: Perfectly Imperfect

As the Sun shines on Earth, so MO-GA’s gender-fluid designs grace the bodies of everyone, rejoicing in ambiguity. Multiple sleeves and feathers recall the animal kingdom in all its glorious diversity; it’s a new aesthetic.

Categories Food&DrinkPosted on

Cocktails at the General Store

SEEN is tireless in her cocktail research, and very much enjoyed travelling to Highbury last week to try The General Store’s new summer cocktail menu and to check out the new interior. She was delighted to sample a Honey Mimosa, very sweet and fruity and just the ticket after a hot journey. It was, as its name suggests, a Mimosa with just a touch of honey.

Categories ArtPosted on

Canaletto: A Drawing Workshop with Alexandra Blum

SEEN has long been an admirer of Alexandra Blum’s liminal and apocalyptic renderings of London’s urban spaces, in which the capital seems ever-changing. It is the artist’s job to capture not only space but the passage of time itself.

Categories MusicPosted on

Rock the Strand is Back Thursday 27th July

One of SEEN’s favourite live music events, Rock the Strand, returns to Strand Palace Hotel on Thursday 27th July for a summer showcase featuring a stellar line-up of talented artists. Curated by industry mogul Tony Moore, Rock the Strand is a free music night that showcases an eclectic range of genres from indie alt-folk to country from emerging new talent and established acts, highlighting the UK’s varied and diverse musical landscape.

Categories GuidePosted on

Love Hunt at the British Museum

SEEN had the pleasure (pun intended) of being invited to a ‘Love Hunt’ at the British Museum. The museum, founded in 1753, is committed to preserving art, culture and history, and has collected around 8 million objects. These artefacts come from every corner of the world, revealing a fragment of many significant moments in time, from Mesopotamia to the Vikings; from the Inuits to the Indians. So, when one embarks on a visit to the world famous British Museum, where does one start?