AtoZ Illusions Canada Man Of letters-header

AtoZ Illusions: David Matthews: Canada Man Of letters-header

As they look through the array of photographs of everyday objects representing letters of the alphabet and place them together to form their name or a special word, people visiting my art booth at shows often comment, “You must see letters everywhere!”

Since I was 12 years old and had my first photograph published on the front page of our local newspaper, including a credit line “Photo by David Matthews,” I have been hooked on photography. It became my hobby, passion and profession. The excitement of working in the darkroom has never left me and today I am slowly, somewhat reluctantly moving with the times and going digital.

After the photography bug hit, a career as a photojournalist and industrial commercial photographer developed. More than 30 years ago, while working on a newspaper in England, I offered some personalized gifts to co-workers. Using my talents for photographing everyday items in a unique way, I found letter shapes in everything from nature to architecture.

I would then string them together to form words, names and phrases.

At first I did this for the girls in the typing pool — replicating their babies’ names or new last names when they married. Life and my profession took me to many places after England and I now live with my wife, Mary Jo, in Manitoba. It was here that my letter photography idea was rekindled and further developed.