Viv Martin's art reflects meanings she constructs from her experience. She is interested in traces left through time, in natural cycles of the seasons and in evidence of earlier lives. The image ‘Fragmentation’ is part of a series of work about the transient beauty of blossom and its fragility. The transition, from bud to full bloom and fall, remind us of our own mortality but also of our place in a very long series of similar cycles. ‘Fragmentation’ is a collage on paper, using woodcut, linocut, stencilled and screenprinted images. Many of these images are fragments from associated work and carry additional meaning in their connections, as in ‘Making Connections’ and ‘Fall’, which are also from this series but use canvas and paper prints collaged onto printed board.
Viv is also drawn to marks and objects left by people who lived in much earlier times. When she was at college in the 1960s (at Corsham, Bath Academy of Art), Viv travelled to Italy to explore Renaissance art and won a scholarship to Paris. She then discovered the ancient art in Turkey and became interested in Greek and Roman art. Later, at Goldsmiths, Viv won a scholarship to Egypt, where she was amazed by how clearly the marks and ideas of ancient artists continue to communicate, particularly in places that were less formal.
More recently the artist has found surprisingly similar connections with art in prehistoric caves, where the marks and fingerprints remain after 30,000 years. ‘Becoming’ (acrylic on canvas) is drawn from a series of monotypes that reflected on prehistoric Venus figures. Viv works with a mixture of drawing, printmaking and painting, often incorporating these in multi-media and collaged work that frequently includes drawings made to record responses and impressions.
Viv layers her work with the visual evidence she collects, but also often incorporate references to the myths and legends that are associated with particular places and the attraction that has drawn visitors over the ages. Many of the drawings she made in the dark in the prehistoric caves of the Dordogne were embedded in collage in another series of monotypes including ‘Beyond Time’, ‘Like a Bat Out of Hell’ and ‘Walking the Mysteries’. ‘Hidden Cave’ is a woodcut that links themes of people with blossom and caves.
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Part of Brighton's Arty Family