MATT HOILE, SWAc Associate

Born in Exeter in 1979, Matt has a strong affinity with the landscapes and coastlines of the South West. As a self-taught artist, he has combined his intuitive and expressive approach with a commitment to learning the traditional and technical aspects of drawing and painting.

Inspired by the dynamic effects of light and atmosphere, his oil paintings seek to convey an emotive sense of place. His process typically involves working with tonal sketches to make compositional decisions, before using oils on board. Matt’s work explores the space between realism and semi-abstraction, simplifying and deconstructing form in varying degrees.


I try to depict a sense of place and really capture the essence of the subject. Controlling the tonal values and capturing the light effect is the challenge that motivates me to paint.

I am always looking to capture the moment with some degree of accuracy, but I prefer paintings that offer more than an accurate likeness; paintings that express the artist’s empathetic response to the subject.

Mark making plays an important role for me, as I am continually trying to develop an exciting and painterly visual language. I am most often drawn to paintings that provide interest when viewed from up close as well as from across the room, offering more levels to which the viewer can respond.

Matt became an Associate Member of the South West Academy in January 2018. He has also exhibited with Exeter Open Studios and The Marine House at Beer. He is a member of The Rational Painters and The Devon Artist Network.