Aaron Matheson lives and works in Newtown, Sydney. He has been a finalist in the Mosman, Waverley and Waterhouse prizes, and awarded the Richard Ford travel award. He completed a year’s postgraduate diploma in drawing at the Prince’s Drawing School in London in 2007, and a Masters in Fine Art in 2017-18 at the National Art School, Sydney. He has completed a graduate diploma in counselling, and also offers one-to-one art therapy and counselling sessions and group art therapy.

‘My painting is an intuitive search for an adequate description of ‘being’, the internal feeling of body and mind. I make a lot of small A5 paintings intuitively. The small paintings respond to quite abstract senses of mind such as awkwardness and fragility, radiation and restriction and floating and falling, for example. The small paintings become the starting point for larger works that can be more immersive for the viewer. 

My practice addresses the uncertain and chimerical nature of the body through painting. States of the body such as pregnancy, sex, illness and death bring into question commonly-held views of the body’s ‘splendid isolation’ and invulnerability.

When painting, I like to purposefully foster instability and ‘not knowing’ by turning the picture upside-down, unconventional materials such as wax, and working from memory. Through painting I argue that the mismatch between the representation and represented is the subject of painting itself. As Enrique Martinez Celaya says, the tension between the means and ends in painting “invokes a gap between our consciousness and the world and invites longing to span across it.”

In “Here he comes now”, the figure seems to emerge from dark background tentatively but poignantly, growing both mammary glands and a skull simultaneously. As it stepped forward, I felt a sense of recognition: “Ah, there you are!”’