About Paul Martin

Paul painting in Brittany

Artist’s Statement
For me, the art process is a form of dialogue with the outside world, a way of exploring my relationship with it and distilling in visual form, tentative interpretations of things understood. It is a personal meaning making process, through which some of my work might have meaning for others too.

I have always been an artist, a sort of outsider observing the world and interpreting it through visual means. As a child I loved drawing and was lucky enough to be encouraged by my parents and art teacher to take it seriously. While others played he gave me the discipline of still life’s to study and he introduced me to oil paint at the age of 13 and I was in heaven. I loved the smell, the texture, the intense colours and expressive range and still do fifty years on. My early work was basically realistic and by my mid of 20’s I realised that I was stuck interpreting the world in a personal but faux photographic way so I went to art college to learn what becoming an artist was really about.

The main challenge at college was to my preconceived ideas about the world around me. I learnt to observe the world from an almost dispassionate standpoint, to control my passions and draw and paint only what I understood in an accurate figurative manner. These skills have been useful but sometimes limiting. As I explored the realms of quantum physics I became aware that reality is not fixed and that how you look is what you really find. Reality is changed by the viewer and what Melot-Ponty called their ‘veils of perception’. The struggle for the artist, me, is therefore to put aside my existing knowledge and perceptions and open myself up to new possibilities of understanding, to enter what Ehrenzweig called a state of fragmentation, a sort of chaos. This is unnerving yet a way to understand things anew. Thus I struggle to subdue my training and past, long enough to swim in apparent chaos in order to see things with fresh eyes. Only then can I bring the judgements of formal values of line, tone, texture, colour etc. in order make manifest new creations, new work.

My source of inspiration is my wonder at the world around me and my endless challenge is to explore this world and create visual work which has meaning.

Ehrenzweig, A (1984ed) The Hidden Order of Art. California. University of California Press.
Merlot–Ponty, M (1968) The Phenomenology

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Paul drawing in Brittany (pictured right)

I was born at Poole in Dorset, and my innate interest in art was encouraged at the age of 13 when my art teacher Cyril Shackleford introduced me to the magic of oil painting. I studied fine art at Bournemouth and Poole College of Art under the sculptor Paul Fletcher and painter Alan Denley, from 1976 to 1980, gaining a Diploma in Environmental Art and Design.

In the early 1970’s my interest in yoga was encouraged by my teacher Valerie Gaten and I studied to become a yoga teacher which set off a lifelong interest in teaching. When I left Art College I moved to Brighton, married Viv and formed a lifelong art partnership. Together in the eighties we were founding members of the Open House movement in the Brighton festival with the Fiveways Group. In 1988 this group won ZAP award for the best visual arts event in the Brighton Festival. Viv and I have continued with the Open Studios tradition in Worthing.

I have balanced being a practicing artist with a varied education career ranging from Adult Education and co-writing a Painting Degree to working as a Senior Advisor for the Higher Education Academy and being a Senior Lecturer in the ‘Creativity Centre’ at Brighton University. I gained my PhD in Adults Learning in Art in at Surrey University in 1999 and retired in 2010 from education to concentrate on art and continue to show regularly.

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1999 PhD. IN ADULTS LEARNING: University of Surrey. Title – ‘Artist Teachers in Contemporary Adult Education: A Case Study’.
1992 MSc. in EDUCATIONAL STUDIES: In Adult and Continuing Education University of Surrey.
1986 BACHELOR OF ARTS: Mixed arts and social sciences. Open University.
1980 DIPLOMA IN ENVIRONMENTAL ART AND DESIGN: Bournemouth and Poole College of Art.

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2018 Open Studios in Worthing Artists Open House Trail showing at the Fish Factory.
2017 With BN14 Studios at Fish Factory
2016 – 17 Open Studios in Worthing Artists Open House Trail
2016 Xmas mixed show at Worthing Art Gallery
2015 Brighton Art Fair
2014 – 15 Various shows at own Martin Studios Studio/ gallery Worthing
2013 – 14 David Lloyd Club, Worthing
2012 – 13 Fish Factory, Worthing
2004 – 13 Martin Studios: Worthing annual Artists Open House Exhibition
2009 Brighton Independent Printmaking, Brighton Festival Exhibition,
2006 Islington Art and Design Fair 2006, Candid Arts Trust, Islington,London (with Archipelago Gallery).
2006 ‘Passed to the Future’ Adur Festival Exhibition, St Mary de Haura,Shoreham.
2006 Spring Fair, National Exhibitions Centre, Birmingham
2006 Open Studios, Worthing (Brighton Festival Fringe event)
2005 Brighton Art Fair (with Archipelago Gallery )
1999 – 03 Annual Fiveways Artists Group Open Houses, Brighton Festival
2001 St Leonards, Mayfield, The Old Palace
1999 Indian Kings Arts Centre, Camelford, Cornwall
1999 St Leonards, Mayfield, The Old Palace
1999 Fiveways Artists Group Open House Retrospective at the University of Brighton Gallery
1998 Open Studios, Brighton Festival
1996 Northbrook College Gallery
1990 – 96 Open Studios, Brighton Festival
1990 Art at Work in Liberty’s Brighton
1989 Five at Fiveways Open Houses, Brighton Festival
1988 Fiveways Open Houses, Brighton Festival (won ZAP award)
1987 Open Studios, Brighton Festival
1986 Harvey Road Gallery, Guildford (joint exhibition with Viv Martin)
1984 Brighton and Hove Public Library and Art Gallery (joint exhibition with Viv Martin)
1983 United Society of Artists, Mall Galleries, London.
1982 1982/3 Martin Studios Gallery, Brighton. (joint owner)
1980 Poole Arts Centre Degree Show

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Career Summary
2007-2010 Senior Lecturer in Creativity in Education at the University of Brighton Creativity Centre
2005-07 Consultant Education Adviser for the Kent, Surrey and Sussex Deanery
2005 Regional Development Consultant for Open College Networks South east Region
2000-05 Senior Advisor for the Higher Education Academy in York
1997-2000 Curriculum Co-Ordinator for the Adult and Continuing Education, Northbrook College, West Sussex, with aditional responsibilities to the Visual Arts Programme Area and Leadership of the part-time Fine Art Degree
1996-97 Programme Manager for Visual Arts at Northbrook College
1987-96 Assistant Head of Adult and Continuing Education, Northbrook College
1994-96 Development and validation of BA Fine Art plus course leadership of Open College Networks Art Programme
1991-95 Visiting Lecturer in Management Education at the University of Brighton
1989-90 Marketing Manager for Brighton and Hove Training Association
1988 Assistant Organiser of ‘Commuter Study Clubs’ better known as the ‘Brain Train’.
1987-95 Lecturer in Further Education. Part-time posts with Brighton College of Technology and Northbrook College, teaching YTS, City and Guilds and BTEC courses.
1985-86 Head of Centre for Art at Guildford Adult Education Institute
1984-85 Head of Adult Education for Crowborough and District
1978-81 Courier and Guide-regular part-time for various language schools
1975-99 Tutor in Adult Education for Dorset, Surrey East and West Sussex County Councils. Subjects include; Yoga, Painting, Drawing, Sculpture, Interior Design, A’Level Art and Art History, Tutor training

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