Artist in profile: Marie-Louise Martin

Artist in profile_Marie 1Describing herself as an artist print maker, Marie-Louise Martin’s works include original colour hand-printed creations and black and white drawings and landscapes. A visit to her Dublin home with adjoining studio confirms a total immersion in her art and a style that is unique.

The Ballsbridge based artist took drawing classes as a child where she got the ‘bug’ and went on to the National College of Art and Design to study fine art and specialise in print making. “I really like drawing and printing is an extension of that,” she says.

Working as an artist since the 1980’s, her early works combine the influence of her punk contemporaries and classical Florentine art. Her ‘punky heads’ are perhaps the artists most recognisable pieces. “I was just really out of art school and got two prints into the Royal Academy in London. At the time I didn’t realise how important it was,” she admits. Awards for print making from both the Royal Hibernia Academy and the Royal Ulster Academy followed.

A solid metallic printing press forms the centre piece of what can only be described as an artistís dream studio. Not massive but designed to maximise space, light and atmosphere.
On two floors a glass ceiling allows the light to reach all parts. Upstairs hang large scale drawings of both Irish and Italian country side; Wicklow, West Cork and Tuscany. She says, “For the last 10 to fifteen years I’ve concentrated on landscapes.” Before adding, ìOh my god that makes me sound about 150.”

Marie and her husband bought a flat in Tuscany where they spend about two months of the year between Florence and Sienna in a 13th Century listed building. It offers a base for a growing collection of Italian landscapes. Two recent shows in Italy received a good reaction, perhaps because her works are ‘not typical’ there. “Italians are very like the Irish really, in temperament. They can see the funny side of things,” she observes.

The artist prefers the subjects that offer texture and pattern and her landscapes both individual and in collections of ‘visual diaries’ have a remarkable and accurate quality of light. “There has been an upturn in printing and figurative art generally because people go back to basics in recessions. You can’t hide behind a drawing,” she concludes.

Marie exhibits from her own studio at 110 Merrion Road, Ballsbridge. Open days which include an exhibition and print making demonstration with complimentary glass of mulled wine and mince pies are on the 1st, 2nd, 8th, and 9th December, 11-5 daily.

Email: Tel: 087 2859796. Info:
By Rupert Heather