Paul Martin considers the art process a form of dialogue with the world: a way of exploring his relationships to it, and distilling – in visual form – tentative interpretations of things understood and felt. It is a personal process of making meaning, through which the visual manifestations hold potential meaning for others.
His work revolves around a series of long-lived themes. For many years Paul has visited Provence to experience the wildness of the landscape, and his work developed from early realistic studies to the expressive abstraction of wind-blown cherry blossom in ‘Provence Spring’. He has an enduring fascination with the ancient standing stones of Brittany and Cornwall, from the healing energy of ‘Men-an-tol’ to the surging power of the partly submerged ‘Er-Lannic’ with its sinister black guardian cormorants. Recently he has visited the pre-historic art in the caves of the Dordogne and made a series of paintings responding to the amazing art of our ancestors dating back 30,000 years. ‘Falling Horse’ from Lascaux combines one of the caves’ enigmatic images with its many abstract patterns.
Paul’s working process involves intense, on-the-spot research trying to capture a sense of place. In his studio he begins with an idea/feeling/sense of something on the edge of his understanding, then sets off into the work that becomes the focus through which he explores those tentative ideas and feelings. The creative process becomes a strange dance between those original ideas, new insights and the demands that emanate from the work itself. All this is played out through his chosen medium using the elements of formal values such as line, tone, colour, composition, texture etc, and experimentation, to create the desired interpretive effects. It’s a voyage of discovery both exhilarating and disturbing as the destination is unknown until he arrives, or not!
Paul trained in Environmental Art & Design at Bournemouth College of Art, and has balanced being a practising artist with a varied education career ranging from Adult Education and co-writing a Painting Degree to being a Senior Lecturer at Brighton University. He gained a PhD in Adults Learning in Art at Surrey University in 1999. Together with his wife Viv, Paul was a founding member of the Fiveways Group in the Brighton Festival and continues to show regularly in Open Studios events.
© 2016 Kemp Street Productions
Part of Brighton's Arty Family