Environmental and cultural sustainability are key undercurrents in Matt Moriarty’s work.
Matt was born on the West Coast of New Zealand’s South Island in the small coastal town of Greymouth.
He studied design at the Victoria University of Wellington & Massey University of Wellington, completing his bachelors degree in 1999, and has since worked in the creative sector in New Zealand and Australia as a Graphic Designer. He currently lives and works from his home studio in Kaikoura, mentoring Art and Design at The Learning Connexion School of Art and Creativity in Wellington from his remote location, alongside continuing his Art and Graphic Design practice.
Earlier works of Moriarty's examine New Zealand iconography from the viewpoint of a concern for their multi-cultural desaturation, commercialisation and pop appropriation. Here, he mixes traditional cultural objects such as the Hei Tiki - and maori weapons like the Taiha and Patu - with internationally commercialised design such as the Helvetica typeface and the Swiss Army Knife, in a clean graphic style reflective of his vocational background.
More recently, since his return to his roots in New Zealand’s South Island, Moriarty’s focus has shifted more towards his appreciation and concern for the natural environment - so prevalent in New Zealand’s mainland. The graphic style however remains strong. Recent work, a body titled Bone Park, examines the role of New Zealand’s National Parks in regards to cultural identity and environmental change. A piece within this series, titled Suture, was a recent recipient of merit at the 2011 Waikato National Contemporary Art Awards and exhibited at the Waikato Museum.
Currently, his work explores how holism and reductionism of pictorial elements effect the perception of an image.