Beverley Matchette-Downes CONTEMPORARY ARTIST
Beverley started her career as a professional artist after graduating from Bucks New University in 2007 with BA in Fine Art (Painting) followed by a Masters’ Degree in Printmaking (Distinction) in 2010. Initially she joined an artists’ hub based in an old almost derelict furniture factory building in High Wycombe at Commercial Square Studios. Rents here were cheap with edgy and dilapidated studio accommodation to match. She almost immediately acquired a press from Ironbridge Press to continue her new found interest in Printmaking. Her Master’s degree was predominantly taken up by learning the processes of etching and lino cutting under the tutelage of Elizabeth Butterworth and Brian Ingman, however screen printing, lithography, dry point, wood engraving and animation were also touched upon. She has since honed those skills and added more. Now much of her work includes collography, monoprinting and most recently waterless lithography.
She regularly attends an open access specialist printmaking studio at South Hill Park Arts Centre in Bracknell, Berkshire with other advanced printmakers, once a week, to concentrate on processes which she is unable do in her small studio (as they involve toxic chemicals such as acids which require specialist ventilation and other specialist equipment). She still draws and paints but printmaking dominates her practice. She loves the processes involved in printmaking and the alchemy involved. Her first degree had focussed on portraiture and large scale still life oil painting. Indeed her work continues to be rooted in observation of tangible things around her. Photography is often her starting point as she uses her camera as a sketchbook to spark ideas for her work. Composition and pictorial space is a preoccupation and she strives to produce images which are slightly more abstract than reality to make them visually exciting and her own.
When Commercial Square Studios was closed in 2018 due to redevelopment she was lucky enough to have the opportunity to join another group of 6 diverse artists at a brand new bespoke studio development in the picturesque and charming village of Turville nestling in the bucolic beauty of the Chiltern Hills in Oxfordshire which she did on a snowy day in March 2019. The first year was a wonderful time of new inspirations and new connections to the other artist residents. She also found that her work was selling extremely well with added exposure and greater footfall in this idyllic setting. The New Year in 2020 promised to be even better as the studios became more established and many new regular opening times were scheduled along with the annual open studio events and other exhibitions planned. Then the Covid-19 pandemic reared its ugly head and since then things have been very quiet! Nonetheless she has continued to work and sell via social media and through other on line exhibitions. A ‘new normal’ was being established.