It was with great sadness that I learned this week of the death of my great friend, the Australian sculptor, Matt Carney.
I met Matt in London when we were in our early 20s. We shared a house together. He was working for Richard Branson's Virgin Group – responsible for designing and and producing architectural and kinetic sculpture and elements of interior design for their clubs, such as Heaven.
Matt returned to his native Australia in the mid 90s, dividing his time between the beautiful Tasmanian wilderness of Bruny Island, and Sydney.
Matt's reputation as a sculptor was continually growing. He was represented by a number of galleries, and had undertaken numerous prestigious large-scale commissions. One of these was his Whale Pod sculpture, near his home at Adventure Bay. The photograph above shows parts of it in progress when I went to visit him there in 2004, and gives an idea of the scale. The finished piece - 3.5 metres in diameter - can be seen here.
Other impressive work can be seen at this gallery.
I'll miss Matt so very much. He combined a deep maturity and confidence in his art with an almost childlike enthusiasm for everything that was going on around him. He was a great sounding-board for my own artistic ideas – an honest critic who would nevertheless always have sometime positive to say.
His premature death is so cruel and unexpected.
He leaves his wife Emily, and young daughter Calpurnia.