Matt Stokes

Matt Stokes’s practice stems from a long-term inquiry into subcultures, particularly musical ones. He is interested in the way music provides a sense of collectivity, acting as a catalyst for particular groups to form, shaping and influencing people’s lives and identities.

His works are often context-specific; he immerses himself in a setting and area of interest, through which collaborations with informal communities arise. After a process of collecting stories, information and materials related to their histories and values, Stokes produces artworks that depart from his research and take on a conceptual and aesthetic life of their own through films, installations and events.


Matt Stokes was born in Penzance, Cornwall and has lived, studied and worked in the Northeast since 1993. In 2006, he was the winner of the Beck’s Futures Prize, and in 2009 was shortlisted for the Northern Art Prize.

Solo exhibitions include BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art (Gateshead, 2009); The Gainsborough Packet &c., 176 (London, 2009); these are the days, Arthouse (Austin, 2009); Real Arcadia, LüttgenMeijer (Berlin, 2008); Now is Early, VOID (Derry, 2007); Long After Tonight, ZieherSmith (New York, 2007); [un]promised land, Attitudes espace d’arts contemporains (Geneva, 2007); Lost in the Rhythm, Temple Bar Gallery (Dublin, 2007); and Pills to Purge Melancholy, Collective (Edinburgh, 2006).

Recent group shows include See This Sound, Lentos Kunstmuseum, (Linz, 2009); Running Time, (National Galleries of Scotland, 2009); States of Independence, Foreground (Frome, 2009); MARZ Live, MARZ Galeria, (Lisbon, 2009); Desiring Necessities, John Hansard Gallery (Southampton, 2009).

He is represented by Workplace Gallery, Gateshead and ZieherSmith, New York.