Miniature Spaces Carved From Stone by Matthew Simmonds
Matthew Simmonds, an art historian and architectural stone carver based in Italy, has created a collection of exceptionally beautiful miniature spaces that are carved from stone. Matthew graduated from university with a degree in history of art in 1984, specializing in the art and architecture of the medieval period. In 1991 he trained as an architectural stone carver, and in this capacity he participated in the restoration of several important historic monuments in England, most particularly Westminster Abbey and Ely Cathedral. In 1996 he transferred to Italy, where he specialized in the carving of fine classical sculpture in marble.
In 1999, he won first prize at the Verona International Sculpture Symposium, gaining his first recognition as a sculptor. Since then he has participated in various international sculpture symposiums, in Italy and beyond, winning several prizes. He has exhibited in Italy, China and the USA. The sculptures of Simmonds really give us a direct experience of our being in the present, through a love of the past transmitted in marble and light.
From his early childhood, Simmonds was fascinated by stone buildings, an affection that flows into his artworks, where stone architecture is used as a central theme. Particularly the medieval architecture, with its striving to get to a new sophistication of space, comes alive in the marble. Simmonds makes a play of architecture and ornamentation on a small scale, but the spaces created give the same feeling as in the buildings themselves; a place to rest, a place to travel with the eye and maybe find a moment of tranquillity. The marble is opened up, and inside is a space within a building that only exists in the viewer’s mind. What you sense is the significance of space.