Matt Stokes was born in Penzance, Cornwall and has lived, studied and worked in Northeast England since 1993.
The works he creates are often specific to their context, or a particular place. He immerses himself in a setting and area of interest, through which collaborations with informal communities arise. After a process of listening, collecting stories, information and materials related to their histories and values, he produces artworks that depart from his research and result in films, installations and events.
His practice originally stemmed from a long-term inquiry into subcultures, particularly musical ones; from hardcore, grindcore and death metal music to Victorian penny gaffs and the English Folk Society. He is particularly interested in the way music draws us together, acting as a catalyst for particular groups to form, shaping and influencing people’s lives and identities.
Through collaborations with people and groups, his work has resulted in happenings in a wide range of settings including Stratford Station, an historic location in NE England, and the punk scene of Austin, Texas.