Martin was born in Dublin in 1950 and moved to England in 1955.
At the age of 12, Martin’s art teacher, Mr Connolly at Blessed Philip Howard School in Glossop, told him to go home and turn one of his abstract doodles into a large painting. He did – on an 8ft x 4ft piece of hardboard using gloss and emulsion leftovers. Mr Connolly came to see the painting and got friends to exhibit it. They bought it and that was the start of his career in art.
Martin took his ‘O’ level Art early and then his ‘A’ level art at De La Salle College Salford. He attended Derby College of Art, then Stourbridge College of Art and Goldsmiths College in London.
Since 1974, Martin has taught art in London and Salford, Manchester and retired as an Assistant Head teacher in 2008.
In 2007 he was elected to be a fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.
He has returned to painting seriously in 2009 and has an extensive gallery of work on show on his website and a number of works are currently exhibited at Gallery 786 in Manchester.
His inspiration comes from landscapes and the power of colour and scale. From an early age he has acknowledged the importance of the American Abstract Expressionist School and in particular of the work by Barnett Newman and Adolphe Gottlieb. He was also inspired by seeing the work of John Hoyland in the Whitworth Gallery in Manchester whilst still a student.
He says now that:
“These paintings come from observation, memories and emotions and are nearly always based on landscapes.
When I look at a landscape the feelings of awe and wonder can be overwhelming.
The beauty of the world can sometimes be heartbreaking. These feelings and memories drive my painting; I feel I am entering a world of child like simplicity but my actions are controlled by complex cognitive processes of which I am largely unaware until the time, that is, when the painting is finished.
I parcel all the colours, spaces, memories and emotions that are in my mind, then send this into the future to be unwrapped when the painting is finished. It often is not what I expected to see.”
If you wish to enquire about a painting or limited edition prints available in the gallery, or would like to discuss options for a commission piece or have a chat about Martin’s work he would be more than happy to discuss this with you.
If you are, or know of any local artists (painters, photographers, potters, sculptors, etc) located or based in and around Manchester please let us know, and if appropriate, we’ll try to include them. Contact us directly by email.