'Material Culture' - comment on human condition
The Cornishman Frank Rurhmund Sept '94

'Since the days of Duchamp and his pioneering use of the ready made object, artists have been using found 'bits and pieces' from everyday life to create compositions or sculptures that often comment upon the current states of affairs if not the human condition.

A major exhibition devoted to the 'transfiguration of everyday stuff' with the appropriate title 'Material Culture' is currently being held at the Hayward Gallery ... several of the 50 or so works that Matthew Lanyon is now presenting at Rainyday Gallery, Penzance, would not be out of place there.

The first time he has shown his work, he certainly makes an impact...Those who operate on the same wavelength as Matthew Lanyon does, who can tune into his sense of humour, will love this show...
(He) offers much to intrigue and enjoy.'

Pasiphae ‘89



Pasiphae's story...

King Minos fails to sacrifice a beautiful white bull to the gods. His wife Pasiphae is made to fall in love with the bull.
Daedalus, the inventor, creates a cage so that she can consummate her love. Their offspring is the Minotaur.





watching the birdie

My grandfather was an amateur photographer. He took his 12"x10" plate camera with its 4" lens, bellows and tripod out at low tide photographing seagulls.

When I made my camera I got a pair of jackdaws after the first exposure. The albumen process - three chicks every year for over a decade.






Found objects: hand mirror, old nails collected from Jackdaws' nest


Hammer and Saw ’88



It started with 'The Annunciation' - the angel and the virgin. I saw Fra Angelico's fresco when I was twenty-three.

When I gave up the building trade I began reconstructing my toolkit. I took my saw and moved the teeth from blade to handle.



Time Bomb

Bone, carburettor, rubber hose, ticking clock mechanisms


Petroleum and its Products

Toy cars, laboratory flask, hose and book -
'Petroleum & its Products' by R. Redwood 1896

Toaster ‘89

The wedding present




The Alphabet ‘08

631 Medicine Bottles



Big Medicine ‘10

Two thousand and twenty five bottles

Five forks and a bit of plastic ‘12

A Bit of Telly ‘98

Tip the beach, comb the stars, make a thing of it
and when the tide goes out in space, have it stay there
oddly futured, out of the midden of memory
into a well-washed frame…my bit of telly

Un-filed from the mountains of oblivia
relocated in ‘Forgotten Quests’
given new meaning, a nail of its own
Tricks of Time, Box 4, Incidental 46…

Un-named moments of television history
Sergeant Bilko, Judy Garland, Silly Old Moo…somewhere
over the rainbow, making things was not enough
I’d had to weigh the finding of them too

And for this Time had to travel lightly, carry no  
warning about herself, not know the war as over
With all these finds from my forgotten quest
to improve the quality of drift, I’d made an ocean

 An ocean for the ocean that has no memory
…into my old concrete-mixer shovelled rocks and bottles
broken tv- sets, to move in circles with the water
to imagine pebbles such as this

It took a seven-year-old’s imagination to find them
hanging in my workshop, swung from fishing lines
to pause, to de-construct, then re-construct them
in an instant he’d worked out how the trick was done:

“…matthew must have smashed the telly at
     just the right moment.”


Ways of giving up photography '93







Copyright  © Matthew Lanyon 2012. All rights reserved.