Martha Winter’s distinctive textural wallpieces could almost be described as a fusion between art and science. She is fascinated by the patterns formed by geological phenomena found in nature, such as rock formations caused by lava, the slow accumulation of cocoliths to form chalk or the swift build-up of sand to create dunes. She is deeply inspired by the beautiful textures and patterns of the natural landscape recorded by satellite imaging and even electron microscope images of micro-organisms (such as pollen grains.)
She has also been profoundly influenced by exposure to two vastly different environments during her lifetime. Firstly, growing up surrounded by minimalist art and modern architecture in London, Martha gained the visual language of reduced and economical form and a fascination with systems, repetition and order. You can see this reflected in her series paintings, in which each individual work slightly differs from its neighbours, but create in their grouping a structured, planned whole. Secondly, Martha has been a regular witness to the raw, chaotic power of the natural world - the organic patterns and textures of landscapes such as the raw Norfolk coastline or the unusual rock formations of the Galapagos Islands. It is a combination of these ingredients that Martha employs through her work. She aims for a point of simultaneous tension and harmony between rigidity, geometry, aesthetically simple and structured form, juxtaposed with nature’s varying patterns, textures and formations.
Whilst the influences on Martha’s work remain constant, the method of realising her art has undergone several changes. When working alongside scientists during a residency, she became aware of the overlap between some scientific procedures and her own creative process. Although the intentions differ, there is a meticulousness involved in the systematic method of collating, categorising and observing permutations that is common to both. By working with variations of an idea, she began to make work in series, concentrating on subtle differences in pattern while also alluding to the passing of time.
A key feature of Martha's paintings is their unusually textural 3-dimensionality, which is best viewed in the flesh. The surfaces of her paintings are thick, tactile, gritty and crusted, reflective of the natural textures of the landscapes that so deeply inspire her.
“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.”
There is something subconsciously appealing about Martha's combination of natural materials and textures presented in calm, mathematical, satisfyingly methodical forms. The large scale of her works also adds to their impact in a room.
Martha Winter was awarded a BA Hons degree in Fine Art from the Falmouth School of Art before going on to take an MA in Fine Art at the Norwich School of Art and Design, Norfolk. Since then she has enjoyed a prolific career as an artist, exhibiting with Byard Art, Plateaux Gallery, the Mall Galleries, Four Square Art and the Sheridan Russell Gallery, as well as exhibiting at art fairs all over the world. Martha's list of commissions is highly impressive, including multiple series commissions for P&O cruiseships, the Four Seasons Hotel in Mauritius, Deloitte, Blue Bay Asset Management, Schroder Investment Management and Hogan & Hartson London, among many others.