Current Artist in Residence Lucille Martin combines iPhoneography, photo-media, textile & performative practice exploring themes related to the social psyche, natural landscape and deep ecology. Using her iPhone as an extension of the body she captures images while walking and exploring the natural and urban landscape in Australia and overseas.
Ahead of this weekend’s Artists in Residence Open Studio we caught up with Lucille to find out what’s been working on in the studio.
Hi Lucille, can you tell us a bit about your career to date?
I’m a multi-disciplinary artist working primarily in iPhoneography and photo-media collage with a range of materials from textiles to found objects. Materiality is foundational to my practice stemming from an early interest in surrealism in my late teens and a desire to explore new territories, to disrupt and question the relevance of historic and implied traditions and troupes, particularly in photography.
Often in parallel is how material, method and theme are consciously and unconsciously working together. Curator Paola Anselmi and the late John Stringer were two WA curators that identified my work early on in Perth. Of my work, Paola said, “Martin’s fundamental interest in the evolution of a social psyche through the analysis of her personal experience remains a recurrent theme in her work…”.
A significant amount of works during my career were essentially driven by the ingenuity and good partnerships of curators in Perth and regional NSW, with a majority under the curatorship of Artistic Director Stephen Alderton (Director of National Art School, Sydney).
These relationships informed and built on my process beyond formalities of the genre to new platforms. If you look at my website it’s clear to see where good direction influenced my process. It was a completely different experience to be making works for thematically and academically aligned exhibitions to working on major solo exhibitions, which were especially favorable while bringing up a child.
Thematically I am driven by activism to protect the environment, flora and fauna, social justice, the social psyche and where contemporary culture intersects that.
You are part of Imaginary Territories, a group exhibition, running at PS Art Space until Sat 14 Nov. Are you able to tell us more about your work in the show?
Imaginary Territories is a successful curatorial program and career highlight under the directorship of Dr. Kelsey Ashe. As director, curator and artist of Imaginary Territories, Ashe was pivotal in driving the conceptual process of my large format body of work. It was like two energies meeting with a common and passionate topic related to surrealism. I had already been pitching the surrealist exhibition in Perth and Melbourne and the rest is her/history.
I feel like Kelsey and I had soul years together from another era, possibly in the 1930s and 40s in Paris filtering amongst the extraordinary (female) surrealists of the time. Kelsey has this sensibility to hone in on the passion of my practice, giving me breath and freedom but also allowing the performative process to evolve.
My large format work in Imaginary Territories is underpinned by my love for nature and the 18 months of travelling and photographing the natural landscape as an awarded artist in residence (AIR) throughout Australia and NZ. The images captured relate to my passion for the environment and deep ecology.
The work navigates a deeper understanding of identity, memory and place, meandering through past, present and future timelines as documenter and witness to the temporal, nostalgia and impermanence of these often delicate environments.
My imagery captures landscape and wilderness in southern New South Wales, which I captured during a Bundanon Trust AIR in 2018-2019; and two months at UTAS-School of Creative Art in Hobart where I walked southern and inland regions of Tasmania, Maria Island and Bruny Island before going up to Launceston and over to Cradle Mountain and Lake St Claire National Park as AIR at Wilderness Gallery.
Other images were captured while I studied and researched the underground lands of WA and New Zealand at Rotorua. The research component is vital, I have a thirst to explore and navigate new adventures in Australia and internationally.
My major work presents imagined territories of configured and re-configured lands with the idea of putting the lost together digitally to present time as a point of reflection and the pressing need to act for our future.
The project was funded by the Western Australian Government Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries.
Do you have any other residencies/exhibitions in the pipeline?
Yes, I have a few projects happening in November 2020 – April 2021.
- Mandorla Art Prize (2021 Finalist)
I’m also thrilled to have my residency at Vancouver Arts Centre, City of Albany re-instated post-COVID and will be taking part in the project in late 2020 and early 2021.
The residency project is founded on a response to discovering the detailed black and white photographic images of my father, Joseph Martin (deceased), captured in and around the spectacular Great Southern and Albany regions of WA between the 1940s and 1950s. The small collection of images depict the beauty and detail of the natural landscape, striking ocean views, vegetation, and many of the magnificent rock formations of the country he loved so much.
Meet Lucille at our Artist in Residence Open Studio
Running 1–5pm this Sunday 8 November, this is a wonderful opportunity to meet a variety of artists currently in residence and find out what they’ve been working on. Free entry.