Matthew da Silva
Timeline Gradient
Artist and Poet
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Dark alphabet

Life online offers great escapes but it is also often a prison of our own making. ‘Dark Alphabet’ explores in paintings using watercolour and collage some of the angles. Matthew grew up in a world without the internet but in 1995 his Tokyo work unit made his employer one of the first 50 companies in Japan to have a website. Rather than a digital native, he’s a sceptical participant in cyberspace. It was in 2017 that I finally noticed how Twitter (now X) caught up and started to become more like the world. I naively wrote in 2015 how it could be a force for good but it’s turned into a battle ground. The federal government has adapted, and in fact set up the precursor of the Online Safety Commissioner in that same year, initially with regard to children. Admit you were wrong, Matthew. Despite the success of the #FreeKaren campaign, last year the NSW government even went so far as to ban phones in schools. How good is being online in terms of our mental health? For me it has been good in many ways, allowing me to make new friends and connect with old friends in new ways. But the lack of a safe resort for meaningful conversations is probably the most noticeable thing. Road rage every day. Anonymity leads to safety in some countries but in others it allows people to say things they’d never say in person. We aver that we want people with mental health issues to thrive, but we often don’t act accordingly. In ‘Dark Alphabet’ I try to explore some of the angles with a distinctly Pop aesthetic. I used watercolour and collage because they have been part of my art practice from the beginning. I like how watercolour surprises, and I also like the way that colour and line can interact in novel ways when fields of colour are overlaid with collage. I am still learning.
Image 1
Alien Jesus
Image 3
Dark alphabet
Image 2
Candy car VIII
Image 4
Driving to Wolli Creek
Image 5
Green headspace
Image 6
Independent
Image 7
Mother
Image 8
Mother
Image 9
Pre-occupied
Image 10
Retrenched
Image 11
Sixpence
Image 12
Vampire capitalism