Memory Theatre

Matthew Humphreys is fascinated by the depth of investment we give to the ordinary photograph–in its sentimental value and its emotional power. His work often stems from an investigation into an old snapshot belonging to his family he has found.  Reimagining moments of tenderness from the past, he explores the photograph’s influence as well as its constraints. But though his starting point is personal, Humphreys effectively draws out universal truths from these familiar situations.

Ultimately the constraints of the mechanisms with which we choose to record our memories frustrates Humphreys. Photographs fade and deteriorate and the light entering the lens never quite succeeds in capturing the true nature of a scene. His stance is critical. He questions the truth of photography and the moving image and highlights the falsifications it presents. Like the memory of events, our records of them fade and disintegrate.

Memory Theatre consists of footage from a reunion some fifteen years ago where we see the family posing themselves for a group photo, this handheld video is composited onto a shot of the garden today.


Stigmart 10

Selected as one of ten international artists for publication in Stigmart10 Video Focus.



MA Fine Art - Final Show

24th - 29th May 2013

MA Fine Art Final Show
Central Saint Martins, London



Instant Cinema

The Lost Reels



Work in Progress
Postcards on Wooden Ledge

Great Great Grandfather

Transcription of William Hersey’s case notes from Fair Mile case book

Admitted 1st Nov 1904, Chargeable to Windsor. He is 32 years of age, married, Drummer at  Dep…  Scots Guards. C/E. It is his first attack and has lasted 96 days. He is not epileptic, suicidal or dangerous to others.

History: Very little can be given. Present state of health is poor. Has been married some years and has one child. Has been living comfortably. Has been in lunatic ward Netley Hospital. Is intemperate in habits. Has been in the Army sixteen years.

Facts indicating insanity are copied from admission order: (a) as observed by Lt Colonel A G[?] Kay MB, “He is noisy, incoherent, sleepless and maniacal, dirty and from his being quite incapable of looking after himself requires constant supervision and care”, th[is?] as communicated by Sergeant [Surgeon?] Major C R Kilkelly the Grenadier Guard stated at Caterham 27.07.04 “Strange in his manner, restless at time[s] very noisy and excited and unable to sleep, rambling and incoherent in his conversation and laughs in a silly meaningless manner”.

Physical condition: He is 5ft 4ins in height and 7st 10lbs in weight. Colo[u]r of hair fair, clean and thin at top and back. Colo[u]r of eyes blue (light). Complexion pale, skin clear. Had old scars and marks of old bed sores on back and region of sacrum, small abrasion on nose and legs. Tattoo marks on both forearms. Little toe of left foot ard… and superimposed on fourth toe. Pupils equal medium size and react to light somewhat sluggishly, reaction to accommodation cannot be ascertained.  Tongue small, slightly furred and moist and slightly tremulous. Teeth fair. Heart and lungs as far as can be made out normal. Marks of old cha…es on prepusc[?] Knee jerks very much exaggerated. No ankle … General nourishment and musculature of body fair. Urine: Amber, alkaline 1022 Alt[?] and sugar none … … Triple Phosphate

Mental condition. Is very noisy, excited, gar[r]ulous, continually chattering, grimacing and gesticulating. Said that he owned ten thousand banks[?] and also that he was “  … ” (the wrestler). Not one word of sense can be got out of him.

Nov 2nd   Is placed on extra diet and ordered a purge. Is so noisy that he is placed on a draught of Chloral and Bermuda tea gr xx …  Takes food well but does not sleep well. [Signed] WWJL

3rd      Was rather restless during the night. Takes food well. Said today that he has “broken the bank at Monte Carlo several million times” and that he “was Jesus Christ”. WWJL

4th      Today it was seen that his pupils were markedly unequal the left being the larger. Is still very noisy and excited. Does not sleep very well. Takes food fairly well. WWJL

5th      Has not been sleeping very well and is still very noisy and excited. Is … R.. Chloral gr xxx, … opi.. ..xx urate[?]. WWJL

6th      Remains in a very noisy res... condition. Is sleeping slightly better. Takes food well. WWJL

7th      Today it was noticed that he was suffering from oedema of the feet and ankles. Was wandering roung the pad[?] last night in a very noisy state and slept very little. WWJL

8th      There is no very evident change in his condition either mentally or physically. Takes food well. [Signed] WWJL

15th    Put on R.. Sulphural grxx b… as he is very noisy and excited. WWJL

22nd    Is a little better now but still requires the Sulphural regularly. The oedema of his feet and ankles is slightly better now. Sleeps fairly well. Takes food well. WWJL

26th    Was put to bed in W[ard?] IV as he was rather weak and could not be managed so well in the other ward. His mental condition is much the same but physically he is rather weaker. The Sulphural is now reduced in amount he [is?] only getting xx urate[?]. WWJL

Dec 3rd         Continues to be very noisy requiring Sulphural gr xx daily. Is very dirty in habits. Is much weaker WWJL

Dec 18th       Remains in bed, a noisy and dirty patient. Shows no change mentally but is slightly weaker physically. Still requires an occasional dose of Sulphural.     WWJL

17th    Still in bed. Not quite as noisy as previously this being due to his getting the Sulphural regularly. Is wet and dirty in habits. WWJL

24th    Is quieter at present but still in bed as he is so restless. Health fair.  WWJL

12 Jan 1905  Today suddenly collapsed and died at 10.55pm.

Died 12 January 1905
Cause of death General Paralysis
WWJ Lawson, MB

Present at the death: Charles J Godfrey, Night Attendant
Age of deceased: 32
No unusual circumstances; no injuries, no mechanical restraint applied within seven days of the death.



Great Great Grandparents ?
Fayetteville, Georgia, United States

Trawling through the tangents of time.


Grandad ?

Weaving through time trying to find the elusive needle.


Silver Apples

Silver Apples
8th August 2010
The Luminaire, London



Seven Sisters
June 2010


I collect.

When I came home from school I would always have things in my pockets that I had found on the street, I still do it to this day.

I now have a camera phone so I sometimes take photos instead, as a room full of umbrellas broken in the storm is a bit too much, even for me.

When an object is viewed in a collection the single element becomes greater as it has a narrative thread running through it.

Great Great Great Great Great Grandfather

Edmund Warman
Town Crier
b1760 c1847


Venus De Milo

Poundland, Newport

Apathy Music Video

Just found this video back on youtube which I directed.

Goldie Lookin Chain

Also check out the new video I made for them, with a great interactive feature where you can be in the video yourself and remix it all online!


Me in a new film

I am staring in a new animation by Tibor Banoczki, a surrealist film funded by the Hungarian goverment due for release later this year.


Kobayashi - LIVE

Kobayashi Live
Poetry Cafe - London UK
December 2008


Fat Controller - Video c1998

Fat Controller
19 mins
V3 Records

Just found this in the archives a few stills from a music video I made a long time ago, shot at the local further education college.


The Lost Reels - Screenings

14th June - The Art Car Boot Fair, London

26th-28th June - BBC Big Screen, Glastonbury Festival


Kobayashi Live

Stills from a documentation of a live performance.

Kobayashi @ Poetry Cafe, London - December 2008


Brief Encounter

Brief Encounter
DV 3m 27s

I have just finished a short film about my mothers reunion with her mother.


Film Instalation

Video documentation of a film installation.

Exhibited as a part of my solo show, 'Please hang up and try again'.

Roadmender Gallery, Northampton.