Who am I?

I go by many names, Art au Chocolat being only one.

I grew up in Huyton, Liverpool, and quickly found a keen love of expressing myself through art, doodling, imagination and any way I could find, unknowingly experimenting with many a medium to express myself or to simply explore a process. I spent much of my youth interacting with my imagination, sometimes seeming absent-minded in class, but my brain was in overdrive, fully immersing me in flights of fancy and taking me to places I’d never seen before, and sometimes, places that felt ancient, lived and familiar…I came from a Catholic background and I eagerly read and listened to the verses, stories and scriptures in school and in Church, and I joined the Church as an altar boy and for a considerable length of time, I even considered joining the priesthood! That was before the sway of the sensual world showed me what lay down the magical path, and it was not too long in my teens, that, still as a Christian, I delved into immersion into “sin” and these wanton ways of hedonism, which gave me more of an understanding of the dichotomies and dualities as to how the human spirit can manifest and express itself, and how we as human can be inspired or influenced by feelings, faith and a sense of the familial.

I was always guided with a strong sense of spirituality and felt a strange and deep connection to the universe from an early age, but felt lost at many points and having attended 4 universities, attempted 3 degrees, and having wandered from employment to hobby to chasing paralympic dreams, having each journey take to not to a destination, but crossroads unknown, I often struggled with questions about myself and my place here; and for a time, I felt somewhat hopeless and allowed myself to immerse into escapism with full-time partying and the hangovers and the comedowns that would in their entirely, provide a distraction from facing up to the calling that was actually happening.

In some of these states, induced states of consciousness would inspire me with many ideas, reflections or revelations. Of course, they’re not to be taken as Gospel when they’re artificially induced. Some of these ideas were clever, some not so clever. Some were just an exploration into experimentation and discovering more about myself and boundaries within and without. One of these ideas was to portray the divine, the immortal in chocolate – which would turn the “to immortalise in art” concept on its’ head, as the medium has a shelf life, which can be extended, but a date unknown at which, eventually, it will decay and fall to dust, much like ourselves. They say that art imitates life, and in my use of this medium, I hope to demonstrate concepts that may stimulate reflection that allow us to more deeply explore how art and life intertwine, and how by accepting this relationship and learning how to submit to the simulacrum of coincidence or learning to control it, we can truly bind ourselves to the divine and radiate real acceptance and happiness.

I began this quest of mine after my mother sent me on a silent retreat for five days and in the silence, you really do find closeness with yourself and with the power within and all around you. Since then, I’ve been guided my a love of expressing myself through chocolate and many other mediums, and trying to use these passions to help others, whether that’s through challenging perceptions and beliefs, or stimulating reflection, or using sales of my work to raise awareness and fundraising for worthy causes, as was the way my late Grandfather lived,  a man who helped to establish Mother Teresa’s Missionaries of Charity in the United Kingdom and was able to call himself a close friend of hers in their lifetimes. The man has been a powerful influence in my life and beliefs and I hope to follow in his footsteps in giving what I can do away to those who have less.

I am currently involved in a range of projects and activities, including this Chocolate Art, a spot of acting, looking after my fitness and physical training goals and am looking to learn some instruments so that I can add some music to my serenades. I have a passion for food and a background in healthcare and would like one day to infuse all of my experiences, which never gave me a view from the top of a ladder, but a wholly holistic panoramic that allowed me to fully participate and immerse myself in a whole plethora of unbelievable experiences that have taught much about myself and the universe and I can say, from that, I feel truly blessed. I’m not sure what form that fusion will take, be it life coaching, to a chocolate-inspired spa with a range of therapies with cacao as a medium within a range of other mediums and complimentary therapies and immersive performances, who knows?

But I hope you like my work, I hope you get to see it in the body as well as the digital spirit, as when you immerse, you become part of the experience.

Thank you for reading and much love –

Matty