Born in East London in 1994, Matt is a photographer currently working in Cape Town, South Africa. He studied photography at the Cape Town School of Photography, where his portfolio projects were primarily concerned with the traditional darkroom processes. Through his exploration of the craft, Matt has deconstructed both the image and processes to create a visual language that uniquely blends archaic processes and current technology. In 2017 he took part in a 3-month residency at Amplify Studios where he started to produce his latest body of work, The Arboretum. Later in the year, he collaborated with master printer Zhané Warren to produce a photogravure for that year’s Edition S for Warren Editions. In 2018, Slater published his first book Efflorescent Cherry through the publisher Quiet Sun Books. The book was handmade by Slater in an edition of 50.
Efflorescent Cherry is an exploration of the beauty of imperfection and the traces of human touch and its anomalies.
At the core of Efflorescent Cherry, there are strong accents of an ancient Japanese aesthetic and worldview known as Wabi-sabi.
Wabi-sabi aesthetics comprise of characteristics such as asymmetry, irregularity, roughness, minimalism, modesty, intimacy and to see the value of the ingenuous integrity of natural entities and processes.
Impermanence, the acceptance of transience, and the serenity that comes with the process of aging also permeate throughout this ethereal body of work.
Throughout this work, the intimate confrontation with the fleeting moment heightens the appreciation of the beauty within these transitory states.
My process of creating work involves engaging with more archaic photographic practices; working with analog cameras and in the darkroom.
The workflow I use is very intuition-based and experimental. The darkroom allows the work process to be meditative and by using alternative printing methods in my image making, the work opens itself up to ‘flaws’ and irregularities, creating an alluring quality through spontaneity.
To view more of Matt Slater’s work please visit his website.