||Artist Matthew Wheeler
attracted attention early on, when one of his childhood paintings was included in the 1972 UNICEF exhibition at the Louvre. As it turned out, this did not become a trend. That watercolour painting depicted a scene on the family farm in east central British Columbia where he grew up. The rural surroundings in the Robson Valley fascinated him from an early age, and continue to appear in his art, photography and writing.
Wheeler's colour drawings of mundane natural and household objects such as flies, spiders, pebbles, leaves, moths and wet dish rags have been exhibited in B.C. and Alberta public galleries. During a newspaper reporter/photographer phase, Wheeler met Cia and Ben Gadd, who became acquainted with his strange drawings. This resulted in a commission by Corax Press to illustrate the bird, mammal and butterfly sections of the second edition of Handbook of the Canadian Rockies. Tourists passing by the Corax Publishing house in Jasper may well have glimpsed Wheeler chained to a desk and starting to resemble the bat, bird and butterfly cadavers surrounding him at his easel, or if he was released outdoors, feverishly sketching more active park wildlife.
Never satisfied with one medium for long, Wheeler also photographs the night sky, people and trains. His photos have appeared on covers and inside
Geist magazine, The Western
Producer and other Canadian newspapers,
Beautiful British Columbia magazine and several books.
is the author of Small Worlds (Arsenal
Pulp Press, 1998) a collection of black and white photo puzzles. These were first published as a regular feature in a weekly newspaper.
Matthew G. Wheeler
McBride, British Columbia, Canada V0J 2E0