Profiles

I Create Birmingham: Robert Matthews

“The Natural Sand Sculpture exhibit is the culmination of several trips over the past 14 years to Tybee Island, GA. The first time that I stayed there, I was walking around the sand dunes after a rainstorm and noticed some amazing patterns and designs in the sand. I started photographing them and was intrigued by the natural artistry that was apparent along the seashore and in the dunes.”

Name: Robert Matthews
Occupation: Photographer
Creative Industry: Visual Arts & Crafts

1. How do you find time to express your creativity while managing a traditionally non creative career? It’s not easy finding time in between a full-time career and family responsibilities, but I try whenever possible to get away and do some nature or landscape photography.

2. You also teach photography workshops. Can you tell us a little about those? For over a decade, I’ve spent a week each year working with a ministry in the Cumberland Mountains of Tennessee teaching adults and teenagers some of the basics of photography. While I’m in the mountains, it also affords me the opportunity to do some photography of my own, so I’m able to combine both my passion for taking photographs with the satisfaction of teaching others how to take beautiful photographs.

3. Where did you get your start in photography?
I got my first camera when I was ten years old. When I was in high school, I got an SLR camera and learned the art of black and white photography in a traditional darkroom. Although I am primarily self-taught in the photographic arts, I enjoy learning as much as I can from other photographers and am constantly seeking ways to improve my skills.
4. What drew you to photographing Natural Sand Sculptures?
The Natural Sand Sculpture exhibit is the culmination of several trips over the past 14 years to Tybee Island, GA. The first time that I stayed there, I was walking around the sand dunes after a rainstorm and noticed some amazing patterns and designs in the sand. I started photographing them and was intrigued by the natural artistry that was apparent along the seashore and in the dunes.

5. How has The Edge of Chaos been instrumental in moving your exhibit forward?

I met David Hooks when I used to have an office in The Edge of Chaos and mentioned to him a while back that I could put up a display of photography. I showed him some examples of my work and he agreed to give me the opportunity to setup the exhibit that is now on display. I want to thank him for allowing me to have this opportunity to be able to share some of the work that I have created.