Tom Martin is a British artist born in 1986. He graduated from the University of Huddersfield in 2008 with a first class honours degree in Interdisciplinary art and design. His artistic practice spans both painting and sculpture. He has exhibited worldwide, with solo shows in London, New York and also at the Fort Wayne Museum of Art in Indiana. His work is held in both public and private collections. Tom Martin lives and works in Yorkshire, England.
The paintings that I make are derived from a layering and build up of raw imagery and ideas giving rise to a composite picture of life on the canvas. The imagery is often primarily still life based, but increasingly this is just a starting point to something greater. Paintings are my way of trying to make sense of this world, and my role within society.
Particularly in more recent times, floral arrangements play a central role in the paintings. Flowers are something which I’ve explored for about ten years now, I keep coming back to them. Aside from their seductive nature, they are loaded with such a broad spectrum of meaning and interpretation. When I’m using them in a composition, I don’t really think of them as flowers at all, they are like metaphors, even self portraits.
Source material used in the work comes from a variety of places, drawing, images from the media, but mostly it is from my own photographs. It is a selective layering of juxtaposed imagery which ultimately leads to something new. Often when I’m using these pieces of source material there will be parts which offer me no significant information at all and so they become blank spaces on the canvas, to such an extent that no paint is physically put down on the linen. Working in this way promotes a fascinating painterly dialogue and allows for an element of surprise and uncertainty. As a painting progresses it becomes about embracing what I cannot change, and giving meaning to new shape and forms which begin to emerge. My interest is less about the individual elements which make up the painting, but more the sum of its parts as a whole.
Throughout the making of any painting there are constant questions about its possibilities. I have found that it is only when I completely disregard any kind of logic or rationale, that I feel free enough to make something exciting. There are no rules, and it’s important to remind ourselves of that. My paintings are that of a possible world, caught somewhere between digitisation, observation and pure fantasy.