About Matthew Krishanu: The Sun Never Sets

The Sun Never Sets is London-based artist Matthew Krishanu’s first solo show in a public-funded gallery. The exhibition brings together over 30 paintings, including ten large-scale works, exploring figuration, place, and memory. The works centre on two boys (the artist and his brother) growing up in Bangladesh, and their experience of a complex world that includes expatriates, missionaries, and expansive landscapes.

"I want the viewer to sense the complications: that the scenes depicted are not always ones of innocence, that there are historical and cultural currents at play, and that the childhood world is easily punctured by adult constructions and beliefs." -Matthew Krishanu

London-based painter Matthew Krishanu takes inspiration from his childhood spent in Bangladesh’s capital Dhaka, to produce his dream-like, reflective paintings.

Krishanu’s British father and Indian mother completed theological training in Birmingham, then relocated their family to Dhaka in the early 1980s, working for the Church of Bangladesh. Krishanu’s work draws on his eleven years living in Bangladesh, and his distinctive bond with his brother. The paintings explore the childhood gaze of the two boys, depicting experiences of a complex world of expatriates, missionaries and expansive landscapes.

Jenni Lomax (former director of Camden Arts Centre, now independent Writer and Curator) writes in her introduction to the exhibition catalogue: "Autobiography plays some part in all Krishanu’s work, whether populated by figures or uninhabited like his landscapes. The image, the scale, the colours and the volume he chooses for a painting all carry authenticity but are not intended as true documentation or a means of illustrating an event.

"Neither is he clouding his work with nostalgia; instead of looking back he is conjuring the atmosphere of a memory into the reality of now. He speaks beautifully about evoking the atmosphere of a remembered feeling of love for a place. However, his paintings are given a deliberate edge of uncertainty that folds reality in with the collapsing of time."

Supported by Arts Council England and players of People's Postcode Lottery.

Artwork: Matthew Krishanu, Kashmir, 2014. Courtesy of the artist and the Arts Council Collection.