SITE 9Wellness Centre, Bonavista
Matthew Hollett’s two Biennale works were produced during a 2015 residency at the Provincial Art Gallery in The Rooms, the distinctive gallery, museum and archives complex in St. John’s, designed by architect Philip Pratt. Hollett described it as looking something like a kid’s drawing of a house and himself as “sitting in this enormous house thinking about enormous houses”. His videos are ruminations on Newfoundland’s changing architectural landscape: the economic and societal changes fueling it; the desires that drive developers and homebuyers; issues of community planning, sustainability, buildings’ relationship to their geography. They feature the over-scaled “dream homes” springing up around the province, far different from traditional buildings in scale, detail, siting and spatial relationship to other community structures. Hollett’s work is presented in a repurposed school building in Bonavista, where initiatives to restore the historic townscape and heritage structures are on-going.
Matthew Hollett is a visual artist and writer based in St. John’s. He makes books and other interactive works that investigate landscape and memory through photography, writing and walking. He has taught new media, digital art and design at Memorial University, NSCAD University and Humboldt State University in Arcata, California. His web design business specializes in websites for artists and arts organizations. In 2017, Hollett is serving as the first Newfoundland Quarterly Creative Non-Fiction Fellow.