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Matt Dart - Artist blog

Introducing a new series of artists blogs from selected artists who have taken part in the Restriction exhibition. Our third artist blog is from Matt Dart, South West (UK) artist working in lock-picking, performance and visual displacements. Matt Dart is an emerging artist, currently studying at Creative Arts at Bath Spa University. This blog post was funded by the Arts Council England, giving more paid opportunities to artists.


Lots of Love.


Hello. My name is Matt and I’m a South West based artist who was recently involved in the Correspondence Collective exhibition of miniature artworks. My work is about the narrative of objects, non-traditional forms of art making and, in this case, love.






In 2014 part of the ‘Pont Des Arts’ bridge in Paris collapsed under the weight of locks attached by couples; relationships can get a bit heavy.


For this call out I chose to submit an ongoing project. This work is entirely unrelated to my own relationship ending under the restrictions of Lockdown.


Learning to pick locks took months of practice; it only took an afternoon to remove a large number of people’s romantic sentiments from Pero's Bridge in Bristol. The resulting objects hold cultural value to some, my intervention aims to interfere with this narrative and provoke a response. Responses have included being called cruel and evil.


What I found really appealing about this exhibition is that the work would exist in a physical space rather than solely digitally and conveniently the locks were the right size to fit inside the letterpress drawers.


The exhibition was streamed from Clayhill Arts and I watched live with others from around the world. When I saw all of the work together, I had a real feeling of connection to so many other artists who have also been working in isolation. It was extremely heart-warming… Perhaps I am not such a cruel or evil person after all.


It was apparent that whatever the restrictions: in the world or in physical size, artists are able to respond in clever and creative ways. This collection of work feels like a real document of recent times and I am extremely pleased to have been part of a project that involved such a wide range of voices.


So far, I have picked and removed over 100 locks from bridges in Bath and Bristol and remain single, as I said this is unrelated. A big thank you to Amanda Lynch, Clayhill Arts and the postal workers of the world for making this exhibition happen.


Matt Dart website: https://mattdart.pb.online/



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