Matthew Warner-Davies combines his love of story with an investigation of material processes to create sculptural art objects. He lives and works in the San Francisco Bay Area, and spends his days as a drawing teacher and art technician. He holds a BFA in sculpture from California State University, Long Beach and a Masters of Fine Art from the University of California, Irvine. Warner-Davies has exhibited throughout northern and southern California including shows at university art galleries, GLAMFA, libraries, community spaces and Orange Coast College’s Frank M. Doyle Arts Pavilion. His recent work deals with censorship and the dissemination of information through altered book forms, highlighting both the fragile and unshakable power of ideas.
My current work addresses the active and passive censorship of language. By transforming the physical material of books, I am creating a metaphor of systems of knowledge dissemination, revision, and suppression. I reimagine books by transforming and obscuring the text through ink, fire, and glue. This is an appropriation of the act of book burning to highlight contemporary issues around the freedom of speech and expression. Historically, book burning has been used to create a spectacle but in my project, I am the only one who knows which books are being burned, making it autobiographical. I made this choice early on in my project because I do not want to draw attention to particular texts, but allow the objects to act as signifiers that the audience can project content into.