"A Square of Ground" - Jerwood Gallery, London 2000

Group show including The End

Exhibition catalogue extract

The experience of cinema is traditionally perceived as escapist, giving oneself to the dark and the enchantment of the silver screen. Landscapes have become memorable and iconic stage-sets. The Western gave America the ‘Wild West’ and the chance to continually re-forge the American dream, while Braveheart and Rob Roy filmed against the dramatic backdrop of the Scottish highlands now proscribes a template for Scottish tourism. Post-war, the idea of England as a ‘green and pleasant land’ was increasingly mythologised, a vision of an England which never actually existed but still persists today as a yearned-for place; a parallel to the wide open spaces as portrayed in the Western. Matthew Smith takes the bright yellow lettering of ‘The End’, from the closing sequence of a Sunday matinee Western, and films it Hollywood Sign style against a sunset backdrop in the Lake District. Conflated and cross-bred The End (2000) promises something alluring and secure; although tinged with a sadness and nostalgia which only sunsets possess, marking the end of a day and the passing of time.

Press Release