Matthew Schoutrop


Artist Statement

Guardian is the keeper of the bridge that connects the soul to the body. Guardian is a wearable pod that works to juxtapose the points of life and death by placing symbols of each side by side. Life wrapped in the husk of death. The live tissue of my own condition is protected by dormant life; seed pods waiting to live and flourish again. The shroud of Guardian allows me to recognise enlightenment: clear vision, understanding and acceptance of a perpetual lifecycle that begins with death and ends with life. Inside Guardian, I am a sentinel.

Artwork Process

Seeing the lush and wonderful beauty of the Victorian High Country ravaged by fire was an emotional loss that saw all life destroyed. When new life came from the black pasture’s regeneration, enacted by natural life cycles, this prompted my use of dormant seed pods and organic plant matter. My focus is communicated through a suit that envelopes my human form in dormant materials; thus places the symbols of death and life side by side.

About the Artist

  • Name: Matthew Schoutrop
  • School: St Joseph’s College (Brisbane)
  • Artwork: Guardian
  • Media: Installation of wearable suit (seed pods, birch twigs, dried plant matter, moss, hessian) and digital photographs printed on matte photographic paper mounted on board

The human condition is something that I look to explore in both art and life. The topic intrigues me as it has endless interpretations and is unique to each and every person. I gain my inspiration from mentor artists such as Ana Mendieta, Linde Ivimey and Nick Cave. I believe art is the best way to share stories and communicate personal views. My selection into the Creative Generation Excellence Awards in Visual Art comes as a massive honour. I intend to follow a design path by studying architecture at The University of Queensland.