Treacle Art interview with Matt Holland
What motivates you and identifies your work from others?
My biggest motivation is the outdoors in general. I hate being inside all day, I’m like a dog really and need walking. The photography is a good excuse to get up at silly times and explore further for better compositions or walks. Although I’m traditional with my landscape photography, a lot of my work is typically shot in the rain or poor conditions. More recently I have been coined the rain god, where ever I go or whatever trip it maybe you can guarantee rain will be seen at some point if I am around.
From your own collection available with Treacle Art, which is your favourite piece?
In the collection featured “Road to Uffington” is my favourite, I like the minimalist approach and simple framing. My second would be “Summers Meadow”, it’s been a firm favourite with myself and many others for years and I’ve had seen several printed to A1 and framed in client’s front rooms. The bigger it gets, the better and you just feel warm when you see the flowery scene.
Who has influenced or inspired your work and why?
The toughest question in my opinion, not because I don’t have anyone who inspires me but the fact, I have a very long list of people who inspire me.
Many of who I know from Twitter and online. However, if I had to select a small handful it would be Grant Hyatt, Jim Cossey and Gareth Danks. Three guys who I’ve known online for a while, but we only just met up last year in the Brecon Beacons and since then have been on numerous wild camps up and down Wales every month. Photography is very social and when you can meet likeminded guys like these three it makes the experience even better.
What made you choose landscapes as you subject for photography?
I’ve always had some involvement in the outdoors, since a young age I’ve attended Beavers, Cubs, Scouts and completing my Duke of Edinburgh’s awards so landscape photography just became second nature as I was always out hiking or visiting new locations. It’s only in the last 12 months where I have had more time to dedicate to my landscape and outdoor photography where I am no longer involved with Scouts of DofE. I do miss the teaching side of these so am looking to teach and run workshops for camping and photography.
Did you have another job before becoming a photographer / artist?
So, I’m not a full-time photographer, not in landscapes anyway. Landscape photography has always been more a hobby and for fun and I get a little revenue here and there from print sales, books and online adverts but my job which is heavily connected to my photography is graphic design.
I tried wedding photography and really didn’t enjoy it and knew I couldn’t make a living from landscape photography, so before A Levels I began learning graphic design. Many years later I am now working as a multimedia designer and do a great deal of animation, video and photography, on top of my print and digital design which is great fun. I don’t often share my design work, but this is due to NDA’s and projects I am working on take months to complete and by the time it’s released I am already on the next big project. It’s kind of old news for me by release date.
What elevates a great picture to Fine Art Photography?
This is certainly down to opinion, but I believe what makes a great picture to Fine Art is composition. Without a good composition, the framing and subject you just have a standard picture. In a landscape you don’t want to see a fence line in the foreground or telegraph poles ruining the crisp scene. A lone tree might seem boring to some, but the simplicity helps the subject stand out.
Have you got any exciting trips planned?
I try not to plan to far in advanced as my plans are always changing but, on the list for 2019 is Copenhagen, Sweden and Isle of Skye. In between will be numerous trips to and from Wales and Dartmoor. My aim this year is to wild camp at least once a month no matter what the weather.
Where is your happy place?
On top of a mountain somewhere. Doesn’t matter what mountain, just somewhere away from a computer and enjoying the fresh air. A weekend away in the mountains really does wonders and you’d think coming back after long hikes and climbs you would be tired from the activities but rather the opposite. Monday I typically feel refreshed and more awake, it’s a big reset for me and gives me time away to not think or worry about anything.
If you could be remembered for one thing, what would it be?
Such a tough question, guess the obvious it to cure world hunger or cancer but that’s not going to happen so if I could be remembered for one thing, just being a nice guy.
Smiling and saying good morning to someone walking passed, holding the door open, doing your bit for charity and helping others. It not only makes someone else’s day but makes you feel good too.
We believe #WallsNeedArt what do you have hanging on your wall?
Ha! Too many photos and paintings. I have a small gallery worth of work from other creatives.
I love social media for connecting to all these brilliant creatives, but my bank account doesn’t like it. However, the one print I have on my walls which I can’t stop staring at is from Saundersfoot based photographer, Dily Hackett. It’s a photo of Tenby harbour in the snow. I’ve lost count how many times I’ve visited Tenby but I have never seen it in the snow and it just looks magically.