About Matty Bovan: Boomerang

In October 2021, Matty Bovan created an immersive installation in the Bothy Gallery at YSP. The work raised timely questions about identity, image and ownership. Participants could try on sculptural outfits and objects made by Bovan. The installation encouraged play and experimentation with self-image and the act of getting dressed.

Visitors were not allowed to document this experience, but images were captured by an unseen photographer. Bovan drew attention to the fact that most of us are already willing participants in terms and conditions which mean that images we share online become the property of social media companies. The photographs, published for the first time in Boomerang, document unique outfits, actions and poses. The images blur the boundaries between sculpture, performance, fashion and photography.

Having grown up in York, where he is still based, Matty Bovan graduated from Central Saint Martins in 2015 with an MA specialising in Fashion Knitwear. His graduate collection opened the final show, exhibiting his cacophony of sculptural knits, textures and wild, handmade adornments. He received the L’Oréal Professionel Creative Award and the LVMH Graduate Prize 2015, going on to work with Marc Jacobs and Miu Miu. He has worked with brands including: Coach NY, Gina, Louis Vuitton, Miu Miu, Stephen Jones Millinery, M.A.C Cosmetics, and Miller Harris, and his work is worn by a loyal fanbase. Bovan has received the BFC NEWGEN bursary, and was nominated for Emerging Designer Womenswear at the Fashion Awards in 2018 and 2019.

In September 2018, Bovan collaborated with artists Rory Mullen and Adam Leach to create a fully-immersive, site-specific installation at the London Design Biennale, Somerset House. Entitled Just/Unjust, it was inspired by a carved wooden chimneypiece in The Red Drawing Room at Burton Agnes Hall, an Elizabethan manor house near his home and studio. Bovan has acknowledged YSP as a formative influence and in 2019 he undertook a research residency in the National Arts Education Archive.