Gatescape 52 (2021.2)

Catalogue Record



Matthew Burrows


Gatescape 52

Made in

East Sussex




acrylic ink drawing on handmade paper made from the lokta plant.

Materials and techniques

Aero Color Professional Finest acrylic ink - Gold Ochre
Daler Rowney Acrylic ink - Flame Red
Khadi Nepalese Lokta paper
Tools used: brush, spray diffuser


width:  21cm
height:  26cm

Object number



  • 'Gatescape 52', Matthew Burrows, 2020. Crafts Council Collection: 2021.2. Photo courtesy of Matthew Burrows.

    'Gatescape 52', Matthew Burrows, 2020. Crafts Council Collection: 2021.2. Photo courtesy of Matthew Burrows.

Maker's statement

When I’m not drawing and painting I’m running. Always in the countryside and the wilder the better.
Over the years I’ve become fascinated by the gates that litter our wild places, especially those makeshift ones cobbled together by landowners large and small. Strangely delicate objects they reveal a great deal about the culture that constructs them. They are, after all just a hole in a fence or wall, a way through boundaries created to control and order our world.
The gates I like best are those that can open both ways and are never locked. They have no gatekeeper to control who goes in or out. They trust you to close it behind you, and are generous enough, too except all who place their hand on the latch. The Gatescapes are not meant to extol any ‘moral message’ or have any ‘meaning’ beyond a structure that creates layers of space and colour. But still, they are there, forming a way in to a potential topography. A movement in and through can only be performed with the trust that the gate has its purpose, and will be respected and closed, and that the land it protects is generously FREE to all who step through and in to the space beyond.
The word ‘scape’ forming our familiar term ‘landscape’ derives from ‘escape’. The gate is a portal to our shared ‘scape’. The real value is not in the power that a gate elicits, but in its invitation to share what it cares for.
I think of my work as a form of subsistence, dependent on and arising from the ground at my feet. Through the layering of colour and line, I create images that invite mediation and a slow unraveling of space and experience. I think of my work as ‘one of dwelling and ritual, a process of mythologizing, of drawing meaning from the particularities of the environment and my movement in and through it’. This work explores the conditions by which we thrive and connect - individually, communally and cosmological