Phonetography Exhibition

In 2019 Matt Thornhill held his first solo exhibition “Phonetography: The Art of Smart”. The exhibition was received to critical acclaim, and has propelled the artist to persue his passion with a greater intensity.

“Phonetography: the art of smart”

(A Review)

By Jayne Buchanan, Art Historian

“If you were pondering the question, “is photography art?” I encourage you to see the current photography exhibition at Stuart House in Liskeard by Matt Thornhill. Phonetography is a small and unassuming exhibition of beautiful images – objects, people and places – that raises the simple to the sublime.

As Susan Sontag wrote in her book On Photography, photographs are able to “usurp reality” because they are not only an interpretation of the real world (just like a painting), but they also retain a trace of reality, having been taken of a real object or person. Although we know the apple photographed in Matt’s work Temptation is real, his photograph presents a fruit with a complexity of colour that would have made Renoir happy!

The unusual aspect of this exhibition is that all the works were taken on Matt’s mobile phone. While this may offend those certain that great works of photography can only be achieved by spending large sums of money on expensive camera equipment, I argue that this exhibition demonstrates that the artist can make use of pocket-sized technology to equal effect.”

What is ‘Phonetography’?

“It’s not about the selfie, it’s not about the click and go, its about capturing the character and the beauty in the moment.”

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An Exhibition by Matt Thornhill and Presented by Small Barn Studios

All The photographs in this exhibition, have all been taken on a mobile phone by Matt Thornhill. With no fancy equipment, all natural lighting, with the occasional tweak of contrast or colours to accentuate what was already there.

Today, everyone has a camera in their pocket. Everyone has access to the world and are able to share the immediacy of their lives the touch of a button. Mobile phones with their attached cameras, allow you to capture and share life on the go, to click and move on. To share, comment and like.

No one takes time to sit back and look at the image any more. To interpret the nuances, the detail, the life, the art. Today’s photography is about the like, the comment and the share. The viral expression of your life to an audience of millions.

This exhibition, is designed to counter the social media culture, and show that whilst you can just click and go, the images you can capture with that piece of equipment you have in your pocket, can still be beautiful, and can still tell a much more interesting story

The collection is based on those inspirational things in Matt’s life. They talk of family, friendship, the beauty of the nature in Cornwall and something much deeper.


About the Exhibition

4th to the 9th of November 2019

Stuart House, Barras Street, Liskeard


Monday – Friday 09:30 am – 3.30 pm

Saturday 09:30 am – 12.30 pm

Sunday Close