Matthew Slater

2014 & 2015
All Portfolios

Matthew Slater is an alumni student of 2015, and currently a tutor at the Orms Cape Town School of Photography.


Born in East London in 1994, Matt is a photographer currently working in Cape Town, South Africa. He studied photography at the Cape Town School of Photography, where his portfolio projects where primarily concerned with the traditional darkroom processes.

Through his exploration of the craft, Matt has deconstructed both the image and processes to create a visual language that uniquely blends archaic process and current technology.

Artist statements


I work alone, under the safelight. In many ways, this body of works about the time spent in the darkroom and the physicality of interrupting or disturbing the image-making process.

I work with 35mm and 120mm film, photographic paper, composites involving taken and found images that are then make in the darkroom as well as the manipulation of the scanning process and ink transfers.

I’m interested in creating abstract images working around ideas concerning people, their environment and the relationship between the two – resultantly delving into degrees of abstraction


‘People’ explores man’s separation from the natural world, in particular from the forest. Human beings are related to the forest are fundamentally dependent on it.

Many tales and myths are set in the forest – it is a place of wonder, escape, danger and transformation.

In this body of work I attempt to depict a ‘natural world’ free of human interference. I also explore the current separation between the natural and urban environments. To do this, I’ve been looking at the space trees inhabit, be it in the forest or built environment.

Efflorescent Cherry

Efflorescent Cherry is an exploration of the beauty of imperfection and the traces of  human touch and its anomalies.

Impermanence, the acceptance of transience and the serenity that comes with the process of ageing also permeate throughout this ethereal body of work.

Throughout this work the intimate confrontation with the fleeting moment heightens the appreciation of the beauty within these transitory states.

At the core of Efflorescent Cherry, there are strong accents of an ancient Japanese aesthetic and worldview known as Wabi-sabi.

Wabi-sabi aesthetics comprise of characteristics such as asymmetry, irregularity, roughness, minimalism, modesty, intimacy and to see value of the ingenuous integrity of natural entities and processes.

My process of creating work involves engaging with more archaic photographic practices; working with analogue cameras and in the darkroom.

The workflow I use is very intuition based and experimental. The darkroom allows the work process to be meditative and by using alternative printing methods in my image making; the work opens itself up to ‘flaws’ and irregularities; creating an alluring quality through spontaneity.


Lomography Magazine  (Interview)
Mull It Over  (Interview)
The Latent Image
Phases Magazine
GUP Magazine