Thready Teddies and threadwork that conjures memories and emotions.
At times Matthew Downham worries he’s not smart enough, not cultured enough. He recognizes that he doesn’t understand himself and that his thoughts are often elusive and vague -- and so he uses his work to help give expression to the feeling that "I’m not sure what I’m doing, but I get the sense it’s worthwhile."
Over time with persistence creating stitches, he began to develop a creative process that has allowed him to keep creating. Even if the purpose of the work still eludes him, he keeps creating works that build on an accumulation of stitches. This simple process of haphazard repetition and allows him to stay open to the possibility that through the creation of the work, his thoughts will be reimagined and brought back to him in a way that helps better his understanding of what it is he does, and why.
From Matthew Downham:
The teddy bears are not meant to be cute or well-stitched. The bears are familiar yet unfamiliar, the image of teddy bears as cute and adorable is stripped away with the layers of thread covering them and often distorting the shape slightly. This encourages the viewer to respond or react in new ways to something that now only has an essence of familiarity, which may be how we see our selves in moments of self-reflection.