Matthew Whitney is a multidisciplinary artist, educator, and pedestrian. He lives and works in Seattle, Washington, and enjoys going for walks with his family.
My studio practice utilizes drawing, painting, photography, collages, video interventions, walking performances, technological experiments, contemplative silence, and in the facilitation of community walks.
I am the Creative Director for Spiritual Directors International. We are a learning community for people who provide spiritual care, engage in the vocation of spiritual direction, and for all who seek to connect with spiritual companionship and deep listening. You can find some of my work there in the form of photography, video, design and illustration. I also host a weekly podcast called SDI Encounters where we engage in conversations around spiritual direction, contemplative practice, and spiritual care.
I am currently training to be a spiritual director through the Spiritual Guidance Training Institute, an interspiritual program sourced in the Perennial Tradition, which explores, recognizes, and celebrates the deep mystery and wisdom that arises out of all the world’s mature spiritual traditions. I am also working to be a facilitator in InterSpiritual Meditation, a resource for helping others discern and create authentic contemplative practice.
Previously, I taught art courses at Seattle Pacific University, Seattle Central College, and Northwest University.
My studio work is comprised of personal cartographies: medium and large-scale drawings rooted in the everyday places we all occupy, share, and move through. The visual vocabulary in my work consists of the use of line and shape in relation to urban maps, street grids, and shared places in the city. I am interested in charting and mapping the layered and singular totalities of our spaces; the geographical, collective, and personal – in which we engage our whole selves through processes of attentiveness, noticing, recalling, and naming. These holy practices spring from being present to oneself, to others, and in connection to the environment around you.
I am interested in the process of movement and the poetics of making a line, understood as a point moving through space. Movement is thought of as getting from point A to point B – be it in walking, riding the bus, gardening, making things, or even sitting still. It is within these spaces of everyday life that contemplative agency is generated. Through our everyday rhythms, a metaphorical and spiritual power made manifest and embodied – be it in walking, riding the bus, gardening, making things, or simply being still and practicing silence.
For inquiries please e-mail me at matt at matthewwhitney dot com. You can also subscribe to my once-a-year-or-so newsletter about exhibits and other happenings.