Artist profile: Matthew the Horse

Discover more about the inspiration behind Matthew the Horse's exclusive illustration.

A graphic artist, illustrator, print-maker and poet from Leeds, Matthew the Horse has exhibited internationally and also teaches BA Illustration at Leeds Arts University. His work has been featured by major brands and newspapers across the globe, with his client list including names such as Fortnum & Mason, Converse, The New York Times and The Guardian. Whilst his work has a playful, uninhibited style, it often references the complexities of the human condition.

On speaking about his commission for our Art Happens campaign, Matthew said:

‘ I was asked to make an image in response to the Foundling Museum, its history and its ethos. Reflecting on the stories of loss that exist behind much of the Museum’s collection, I found myself thinking about symbols of remembrance and the role that such totems have played throughout our history. The Forgetmenot is a delicate little flower, used as a symbol of remembrance across much of Europe, in particular as a memorial flower and token of true love. There’s a humility to this little plant, which has been used to symbolise lifelong connections, despite the challenges of separation or loss. It’s also been used by charities to acknowledge those less fortunate than ourselves. I wanted my drawing to evoke these ideas of love, empathy, and human spirit that sit at the heart of the Foundling Museum’s history and of course the original ‘ladies of quality & distinction’.’

Matthew the Horse’s design is available on a notebook, tote bag and also as a limited-edition print. You can choose any of these exclusive rewards by donating to our Art Happens campaign today.


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"Art Fund" is the operating name of the National Art Collections Fund, a charity registered in England and Wales (209174) and Scotland (SC038331)