Martin Edge

A Day With Martin

August 4 - August 18 2018

One cannot help but respond to the sense of joie de vivre expressed in Martin Edge's brightly coloured paintings. It is a quality that earned his work a placement in Canberra's Parliament House Collection and Artbank, as well as being three times a finalist in the prestigious Salon des Refusés. Innately optimistic, Martin paints that which delights him. In his new body of work there are again the urban landscapes that express his fascination for a city's constant motion - the busyness of people, transport, construction and the tall buildings casting reflections in the waters of the Brisbane River or Sydney Harbour.

A schematic sun beams down from a sky dappled with puffy clouds in the Martin Being Sun Smart painting. The lofty Q1 edifice readily identifies this arena of summer activity as the Gold Coast's Surfers Paradise. With characteristic humour, Martin has depicted himself, larger than life and in sensible attire, amidst the myriad of rudimentary silhouettes representing fellow beach-going enthusiasts.

On the River is a wonderful composition in the juxtaposition of curvilinear and angled shapes. Gone are the more usual horizontal demarcations. Arched bridges criss-cross the meandering Brisbane River while dark highways zoom to destinations beyond. The city's buildings are oddly diminished in their towering proliferation. Instead, expanses of grassy green parkland and distant fields hold prominence. It seems Nature, though cultivated, triumphs here!

The portrait, My Name is Martin, references a fund-raising day earlier this year in his role as Autism Queensland Ambassador. The blue shirt denotes such and the yellow balloon is emblematic of a sense of fun. Incidentally, Martin reminds that the back of his paintings always has a little drawing of a balloon accompanying a greeting. The orange background is significant. He explains that orange has been a special colour for him since childhood and even today the walls of his studio and bedroom are aglow in this hue.

Although referring to his holiday snaps as a memory-jog, much of the imagery is augmented by imagination and the need for compositional resolution. Often taking several weeks to complete due to the multiple layers of acrylic paint, Martin's work resonates with a richness of colour that elevates the spirit and dispels all gloom.


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