Chloe Dewe Mathews

Robert Gardner Photography Fellow 2014

After completing her degree at the Ruskin School of Fine Art, Oxford University, and four years in the film industry, Chloe Dewe Mathews traveled overland from China to Britain, hitchhiking and camping. During that time she shot projects on the Uighur minority in Western China, the returning waters of the Aral Sea, and the Caspian.  But it was the Caspian region that captured her, documenting the lives of people who live on its shores and examining their relationship to the resource-rich land on either side of the sea. Since then, the Caspian region and its people have become the subject of a long-term photographic inquiry. Dewe Mathews has returned to the Caspian region several times including Astrakhan, Russia, and Darvaza’s burning gas crater in Turkmenistan. During the Fellowship period, Dewe Mathews will continue to develop this body of work, exploring other areas where people are inextricably linked to rich but volatile lands.

Portrait of Chloe Dewe Mathews.
Portrait of Chloe Dewe Mathews.

Dewe Mathews is a rising talent; Christopher Morton, Curator of Photographs at Pitt River Museum, Oxford, describes her work as “strikingly original, and a very mature and strong body of work by such a young photographer.” She was identified as one of the top five most promising new artists of 2011 by the Daily Telegraph, and another of her projects, focusing on the sites where soldiers were executed for cowardice and desertion during WWI will be displayed at Tate Modern in London this year.

Dewe Mathews is represented by Panos Pictures, and her "Caspian" series has won several awards, including the British Journal of Photography's International Photography Award, which included a show at London's Foto8 gallery. Her work has been published in the Guardian, the Sunday Times Magazine Le Monde and Vision China,  and exhibited in London, Paris, Toronto, and Berlin.

woman in spa tub of oil.
Albina Visilova, a regular visitor to the Naftalan Sanatorium, Naftalan, Azerbaijan, 2010. © Chloe Dewe Mathews


To see more of Chloe's work, visit her website.

Visit Caspian: The Elements to see the publication of her photos of the Caspian region.