A R T I S T ' S   S T A T E M E N T

My artistic practice has been profoundly influenced by exposure to two vastly different environments. Firstly, growing up in London with minimal art and modern architecture, which gave me the visual language of reduced and economical form and a fascination with systems, repetition and order. Secondly, the regular witnessing of the raw power of the Norfolk coastline. This presented chaos giving me an awareness of natural laws and an interest in physical matter. Through my work I seek to reach a combination of these ingredients, aiming for a point of tension and harmony where a frisson occurs.

Whilst the influences of my work remain constant the means of realisation has gone through several changes. Whilst observing the agricultural environment around me, I began drawing onto flattened soil in the studio as a way of exploring geometry and the patterns in the landscape. Due to the ephemeral nature of this work, regular photographs were made. I began working in the landscape, making larger marks with a spade and creating varying patterns and textures by seeding areas. The resulting photographs, some taken from an aeroplane played with a sense of scale, making connections with micro and macro worlds, that whilst appearing abstract had clearly existed.

During a trip to the Galapagos I saw the results of extreme geological phenomena captured in the lava; this black rock was patterned with the evidence of change from a liquid to a solid state. Following this I became interested with patterns in the formation of matter, from the slow accumulation of cocoliths to form chalk to the swift build up of sand to create dunes.

Recognising a desire to directly present the materials, whose substance could only be alluded to via the camera, I began to experiment with techniques to make the work permanent. I realised that by presenting the actual materials away from their environment, I was able to communicate more generally about aspects of order, complexity and the physical nature of matter.

Whilst working alongside scientists during a residency, I became aware of the overlap between some scientific procedures and my own creative process. Although the intentions differ there is a meticulousness involved in the systematic method of collating, categorising and observing permutations that are common to both. By working with variations of an idea, I began to make work in series, concentrating on subtle differences in pattern while also alluding to the passing of time. New series of work being developed include Cut Contour and Dune Contour. They are a response to looking at the beautiful textures and patterns recorded through satellite imaging. The series Potential and Transverse result from studying scanning electron microscope images of micro-organisms. For example, pollen grains which interest me both visually and conceptually. This current work has become possible through a new technique I have recently developed that allows me to 'draw' with a sand solution. This painstaking method enables a build up of texture, pattern and line that becomes the form around which other earth materials are accumulated. Working in series allows me to fully explore subtle difference in form, colour and texture as well as help push and evolve my techniques. Often work is produced in diptych and triptych which allows the viewer to become engaged in the nuances and subtle language within my working visual vocabulary.

Through my work I continue to explore my obsession with geometry. Through the use of actual materials I can reference landscape and by reducing compositional elements to the minimum and can explore natural pattern. I am interested in using repetition to emphasise the organic ordering of parts to create heavily textured surfaces. I aim to create pieces that provoke contemplation on the similarity and complexity of mathematical patterns around us.

Martha Winter 2011

Back to Top