Sleeping with the Window Open – Mathew Borrett

The following images are of Mathew Borrett’s exhibition Sleeping with the Window Open which ran from February 16 to March 9, 2013.

View of The Ground Came in Quietly, Sleeping with the Window Open and Hiding Places

Sleeping with the Window Open


Interview with Mathew Borrett

Line Gallery: How does your own life experience contribute to, or influence, your work? Where do you draw inspiration from?

Mathew Borrett: I grew up in a rural environment, with not a lot of other kids around. We had some woods on the property which bordered on a marsh inhabited by beaver. Of course this made for a wonderful playground. We had a big old timber barn built in 1899. I didn’t fully appreciate how lucky I was to grow up living in such a setting. The only thing was I’m allergic to horses and hay and whatnot, and there was plenty of that around. This meant that during allergy season I would take refuge in my room, safe from pollen and dander and other sniffly stuff.  I couldn’t resist building the odd hay-bale fort, but I didn’t have the self-control to resist rubbing my itchy eyes, which resulted in having to go sooth them with a cold cloth, hay-fort abandoned (these were often elaborate, multi-storied hay-bale forts).

Thankfully my grandmother had supplied me with a large pile of lego over the years. I even had some hand-me-down lego from the 60’s with faded colours and warped plastic. I think I can still remember a rough inventory of all my lego even now. I had it all systematically organized. I built lots of castles and spaceships and sometimes robots. A couple of times I was so proud of my creation that I would grab a pad of graph paper and some markers to draw instructions for how to build it again.

When I wasn’t doing that I would spend a lot of time on my commodore 64, playing video games and making art with it. I was always drawing or building something, exploring the woods, or playing in the barn. Idyllic circumstances to develop my creativity.

Another major source of inspiration is that I have a highly active dream life. At times, I’ve felt like I inhabit a dream world as vast as the physical world around us. In addition to the real house I grew up in, there were countless dream version of that house, some of which were bigger and fancier, and many others that were in some state of ruin. Often there were basements below the basement.


Mathew Borrett Reception

On February 16, 2013 Line Gallery hosted Mathew Borrett’s reception.

Mathew Borrett's reception for Sleeping with the Window Open