About me

I currently live with my partner in a peaceful little cottage on a rainforest covered mountain in Bundjalung country, Northern NSW, .

I was born in the Highlands of Papua New Guinea, where I spent the first eleven and a half years of my life. After almost failing high school in Sydney, I lived the itinerate life of a stockman for some years on cattle stations in Queensland, before returning to Sydney to study fine art and music. During my twenties I spent a couple of years in the UK, working as an equestrian artist, painting some of Britains leading polo ponies and thoroughbreds. I am a children’s author/illustrator and my works have been published in several different languages around the world. I’m also a composer and used to be a professional flamenco guitarist (but I don’t have as much time as I’d like to practice any more). I am currently an endorsed Yamaha musician and am involved in many exciting music composition projects, which you can find out more about on the multi-modal/music page.

Some things I love, apart from the arts are woodworking, tea and wildlife. For many years along aside my day job I worked as a volunteer wildlife rescuer, specialising in snakes, possums and bats.

The following list contains most of my published works and exhibitions and some projects under contract but not yet released.

Published Books

Multi-modal works on DVD 

  • The Tree of Ecstasy and Unbearable Sadness (50 minute multimodal work containing images, music and narration. The music is scored for large orchestra, choir and solo tenor.) Matt Ottley, 2022
  • Teacup (40 minute multimodal work containing animations, images and narrated text from the award winning book Teacup.  Music for chamber orchestra by Matt Ottley, 2016
  • Home and Away (multimodal work containing images, the narrated text from the book Home & Away, and music for symphony orchestra and soprano by Matt Ottley) Matt Ottley, 2014
  • Parachute (multimodal work containing images, the narrated text from the book Parachute, and music for string quintet by Matt Ottley) Matt Ottley, 2014
  • Tree (multimodal work containing images, Danny Parker’s narration of his text for the book Tree, and music for string quintet and piano by Matt Ottley) Matt Ottley, 2013

CD’s of music

  • Afloat in Venice: Monkey’s Great Adventures, 2021. CD/digital download containing 11 minutes of music scored for a string quartet, piano, French horn and clarinet with narration by the author, to accompany the children’s picture book written & illustrated by Tina Wilson, knitting by Joan Wilson. 
  • Dumazi & The Big Yellow Lion, 2019. 30 minute CD featuring music composed for sinfonietta by Matt Ottley with guest composter Valanga Khoza. Lyrics and narration and traditional african instruments by Valanga Khoza. The CD is included within the book, Dumazi & The Big Yellow Lion, published by Scholastic
  • Teacup. 40 minute CD featuring music by Matt Ottley for chamber orchestra and narrated text from the award winning book Teacup, written by Rebecca Young.
  • Requiem for a Beast Hachette/Lothian 2007
  • King Hit A collaboration with Stephen Oliver, Interactive Publications 2004

Print media articles and illustrationswingedcreature

  • School Magazine, NSW Various illustrations since 2004
  • Beneath the Skin, May 2002 Scan vol 21, no 2
  • Lesley Rees lecture, 2008

Exhibitions of visual arts

I have exhibited paintings in the following major galleries;