Matt Smith



Matt Smith is well known for his site-specific work in museums, galleries and historic houses. Matt started his work life at the V&A before developing exhibitions at the Science Museum and the British Film Institute. After retraining in ceramics, his work as an artist has often taken the form of hybrid artist/curator.  


Using clay and its associated references, he explores how cultural organisations operate using techniques of institutional critique and artist intervention. He is interested in how history is a constantly selected and refined narrative that presents itself as a fixed and accurate account of the past and how, though taking objects and repurposing them in new situations, or creating ‘lost objects’, this can be brought to light. Of particular interest to him is how museums can be reframed from an outsider perspective, and often this outsider perspective is taken from an LGBT viewpoint.


His solo interventions that have addressed these themes include Queering the Museum (Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, 2010), Other Stories (Leeds University Art Collection, 2012) and Milk (Aspex Gallery, 2010).  Over the past three years, Matt has co-directed and curated Unravelling the National Trust which has seen over thirty artists working with contemporary craft (including himself) commissioned to respond to the histories of the National Trust properties Nymans House, Uppark House and The Vyne.  


Matt was the Artist in Residence at the Victoria and Albert Museum between 2015 and 2016. In 2014 Matt was awarded the inaugural Maylis Grand Ceramics prize and in 2009 received the ARC Award for Craft from Aspex Gallery. Matt has recently completed a practice-based PhD exploring the intersection of contemporary craft practice and queer identities at the University of Brighton. He lectures at Konstfack University, Stockholm.


He regularly shows his work with public collections (A Place at the Table, Pallant House, 2014; Subversive Design, Brighton Museum and Art Gallery, 2013; DIY A Revolution in Handicrafts, Society for Contemporary Craft, Pittsburg, 2010) as well as talking internationally about his practice (Tate Modern, the V&A, Valand Academy Gothenburg, the University of Bremen, Konstfack Stockholm and Bergen Academy of Art and Design).



Collect at the Saatchi Gallery, represented by Cynthia Corbett Gallery, UK

Flatbacks, The Potteries Museum and Art Gallery (group show), UK

Factory, Gustavsberg Konsthall (group show), Sweden


Collect at the Saatchi Gallery, represented by Cynthia Corbett, Gallery, UK - Awarded object of the show by Ekow Eshun

Flux: Parian Unpacked, solo show at the Fitzwilliam Museum Cambridge, UK

Orlando at the Present Time, Charleston Farmhouse (group show), Lewis, UK


Collect, Artist Showcase represented by Cynthia Corbett Gallery, London, UK 



Artist in Residence, Victoria and Albert Museum, London, UK



Nature Morte, international tour organised by Michael Petry

Trouble with History, ink_d gallery (solo show), Brighton, UK

Collect at the Saatchi Gallery, Represented by Cynthia Corbett Gallery, London, UK

Leaving Home, Contemporary Applied Arts, London, UK

London Art Fair, Represented by ink_d gallery, London, UK


A Place at the Table, Pallant House Gallery, Chichester, UK 

Reclaim/Repurpose, CultureCraft (catalogue), Derry, UK

Young Masters Art Prize, Lloyds Club and Spinx Fine Art, London, UK

Unravelling Uppark, Uppark House, The National Trust (catalogue), Petersfield, UK

London Art Fair, Represented by ink_d gallery, London, UK 

2013 –14

Subversive Design, Brighton Museum and Art Gallery, Brighton, UK 


Unravelling the Vyne, The Vyne, National Trust (catalogue), Basingstoke, UK


Unravelling Nymans, Nymans House, National Trust (catalogue), Handcross, UK

Other Stories: Leeds University Art Collection (solo show, catalogue), Leeds, UK



Queering the Museum, Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery 

(solo show, catalogue), Birmingham, UK

DIY a Craft Revolution, Society for Contemporary Craft, Pittsburgh, US 

Milk, ASPEX, (solo show), Portsmouth, UK      

Unravelling the Manor House, Preston Manor (catalogue), Brighton, UK


2007 - 08

V&A Showcase in partnership with the Crafts Council, London, UK



We sometimes have other available work by Matt Smith, please get in touch if you are interested in this artist.


A conversation with Matt Smith

by Dan Hipkin

You’ve been described as a hybrid artist, curator and historian. When working on a piece of artwork, do all of these come into play, and how do you deal with balancing them out?


Well, I suppose it’s difficult when you get interdisciplinary. It’s hard to be an expert in more than one field and I’m always wary of that. It’s difficult enough being an artist and doing that well but then when you start pulling in other fields like curating or history… there’s a lot to contend with.


I think I’m comfortable with the artist/curator hybrid. I started off as a curator and I’m interested in how objects can be brought together to communicate. It’s something that comes relatively instinctively to me. I’m interested in artists that work with ideas of instituti