MEET THE ARTIST! GOOSENSEI
Name: Mat Goose aka Goosensei
Occupation: Artist, Teacher, DJ, Music Producer.
Currently residing in: Birmingham, UK
Your artistic medium(s): Spray paint, acrylic paint, pens, pencil and digital.
Sun Bear: Sun Guardian
Community Group: Friends of Handsworth Park
Can you give us a rundown of your career so far?
I grew up in Southern Portugal and was heavily influenced by the local street art scene. After moving to Birmingham to study I got stuck into the art scene here by painting at a number of Live Art events and was invited to paint at Birmingham’s City of Colours street art festival in 2014 and 2016.
I had my piece Infinite Growth published in the Bristol based zine Ink Soup and in 2015 I was commissioned to paint a sculpture for The Big Hoot project. Nature’s Growth raised over £5,500 for Birmingham’s Children Hospital Charity when it was sold at auction.
Also in 2015 I painted a mural as part of the live installation for the innovative and environmentally friendly Solar Box launch in London and have had some of my street art featured in the Birmingham Mail.
This year it was a pleasure to be involved with The Big Sleuth project. I painted Sun Guardian as part of a project with the Friends of Handsworth Park group and the Handsworth Community, and it will be a permanent feature in Handsworth Park’s new community garden.
Please describe the style of art you produce.
I look to the natural world for inspiration, emulating organic shapes to create densely patterned pieces in combination with the raw style of graffiti. I like to use funky colour combinations with strong black outlines.
…..and then describe it in just three words!
Cosmic, Natural, Exploration.
What does a typical day look like?
My days vary quite a bit. It’s a blessing to be involved with music, visual art, running workshops for young people and working for an environmental community organisation.
I’ve recently started up an electronic music label with a friend in Birmingham and we have just had our first release Listening Sessions. I like to keep busy.
What or who is the biggest influence on your work?
My first love was street art: there were some incredible artists doing their thing in Southern Portugal when I was growing up that had a huge influence on me. I developed a taste for more abstract and psychedelic art as I’ve grown older. I really like pieces that you can get lost in and encourages you to use your imagination. Check out my Instagram to see which artists I am following at the moment.
What’s the one piece of advice you would give your younger self when considering a career in the arts?
Paint / draw as often as possible, experiment and try not to procrastinate. Meditate and exercise regularly.
Your top tip?
A powerful piece of advice I was given recently: “You create the magic! ” – this is relating to self-belief and personal empowerment.
Describe your artistic process and methods.
My favourite way to paint is to have freedom and let the piece paint itself in a way. It’s a form of meditation, stop the mind from directing and let the subconscious take over, feel it out and listen to your intuition. I find working like this is the most fun and creates exciting results.
Where can people find out more about your work?
Why did you decide to take part in The Big Sleuth?
The Big Sleuth is an incredible project to be part of for a number of reasons. Being able to help raise money for the Birmingham Children’s Hospital Charity is a huge motivation. Also the creative energy that is introduced to Birmingham after having all of these beautifully painted statues spread across the city really creates a special addition to an otherwise quite harsh inner city landscape. Painting on a sculpture of this size is something I rarely have had the opportunity to do and I find the process really fun.
And finally, tell us one thing that other people may be surprised to learn about you.
I studied Japanese at Sixth Form College and it played a part in forming my artist alias – Goosensei.
Thanks for your time, Mat – so good to hear about all your different projects.
Goosensei worked with the Handsworth community to create Sun Guardian as part of The Big Sleuth’s community programme. Bears created in the programme remain in the community and neighbourhood that created them as a lasting legacy of the event.