It’s not an unlucky 13 for Matthew...

Matt Roby working on one of his sculptures
Matt Roby working on one of his sculptures

A new exhibition of sculpture and illustrations by a Lancashire based artist opened last weekend at the Platform Gallery in Clitheroe.

The number 13 is considered unlucky for some, but for artist Matthew Roby it has proved to be very lucky indeed.

Born on Friday the 13th, Matthew has, through some luck but mostly sheer hard work and determination, become an artist with a considerable reputation.

“The “Fateful Fable of 13”, his latest body of work, explores the mystery and superstition that surrounds the number 13.

Demonstrating Matthew’s dark and playful imagination, this exhibition of illustration and mixed-media sculpture is likely to prompt tears of laughter from those who visit.

Poetry and prose are often Matthew’s point of departure creatively and “The Fateful Fable of 13” is a fantastical tale brought to life through illustration and sculpture.

In this tale, a cast of 13 weird and wonderful characters, all born in the fictitious month of Thirteenber, bring about each other’s grisly and untimely demise in a highly entertaining fashion.

Matthew graduated from the University of Central Lancashire in 2000 and, since then, he has worked as a designer, illustrator and sculptor exhibiting internationally and producing a variety of artworks, storybooks and films.

His influences are broad, with individuals such as Spike Milligan, Tim Burton, Guillem Del Toro, Roald Dahl and Edward Gorey proving to be potent inspirations.

Popular culture in general is significant, with snatches of film, half remembered song lyrics and TV shows from childhood providing inspiration for many of the characters that populate his stories.

“The Fateful Fable of 13”, launched by West Lancashire Borough Council’s Chapel Gallery, is touring nationally, made possible through a successful Arts Council Lottery and Lancashire County Council funding application.

The show brings with it fantastic resources for schools, including a free education pack and an amazing activity trail. It runs until March 17.