Observed: Martin Bridge

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Hope & Feathers Framing and Gallery is proud to host, Observed, the works of Williamsburg artist Martin Bridge from March 3 through April 2, 2016.

Martin Clark Bridge was born into a lineage of artists and teachers. He is proudly carrying this family tradition forth as he lives, creates and teaches in the hills of Western Massachusetts. His work spans a wide range of media from Drawing, Painting, Sculpture, Theater Design and Site Specific Installations to Performance. Martin’s work celebrates the sacredness inherent in nature, the consciousness in all things and power of place and seeks to challenge the cultural paradigms that dictate the way we relate to both the natural world and our brother and sisters. Through his work he hopes to inspire and cultivate a greater sense of mystery and possibility in our experience of the world.

Martin will be painting live in the gallery Thursdays, 5pm to 8pm; and Saturdays 10am to 4pm.

Martin explains:

“It was almost 10 years ago when one of my students was looking at one of my paintings in process when they asked me “how many layers go into one of your paintings?” At the moment I had no answer and realized that when immersed in my work I wasn’t noting how I was doing what I was in the way that an observer might. So in an effort to adequately answer that question I began to take process shots of my work to help to reveal a process that had been something I usually did, as most artists work, in solitude.

Soon thereafter I began working as a “Live Painter” at events where I dealt with a host of new challenges ranging from the basic drive to produce something that developed quickly enough to be entertaining for an audience or even the physical challenge of controlling my application of paint while subwoofers shook the panel. In essence it is an extremely vulnerable place to be in as a performer. While a actor, musician or dancer can simply move forward after a missed line, note or step; we are left with the reminder of an erroneous choice or stroke that demands being rectified.  Balancing these considerations and a desire to create something that impressed an audience while trying to stay true to my other modalities of working in the studio was an interesting challenge. In balance, these efforts came along with a host of benefits that aided the work I was creating. Feedback, observations and interpretations from onlookers I spoke with often influenced where I went with a particular painting and energy of the experience fueled my creativity and movement of the brush and paint.”

An opening reception will be held on March 3 in conjunction with Amherst Art Walk from 5pm to 8pm.  An artist reception will follow on Saturday, March 5, from 4:30pm to 7pm. A closing reception will be held Friday, April1, from 6:30pm to 8pm

Featured image: detail from Curve, by Martin Bridge

Q&A with Martin:

How old were you when you created your first artwork?
My father was the Head of the Visual Art Department at Noble and Greenough School and he stuck art supplies in my hands (along with those of my twin brother Carl) to keep us busy while he worked on his art. So pretty much longer than I can remember

 
When did you know you wanted to be an artist?
I don't know that I ever "wanted" to be one. As the saying goes "we are all artists as children" and being born into a family filled with artists and craftspeople it has always been an omnipresent part of my life.
 
Why did you choose your medium?
Considering that I have been unable to chose any single one I feel like my early exposure to a breadth of media primed me to see the common elements in all of them. Currently I am working more as a painter than a sculptor, theater designer or installation artist simply because it is easier to share and transport and therefore touch a wider audience.
 
What inspires you?
Nature and exploring and contemplating my relationship with it are some of the things that feed my work the most.
 
Where do you work?
My work will frequently take over portions of my home including the dining room table and at times I will work on larger (or messier) projects in the shop at PVPA (where I teach) after hours.
 
What is your creative process like? How do you work?
I work in several different modes and this show exemplifies the two extremes of rushing at the onset of a piece to get some movement and energy into the work but then shifting gears and slowing down for finer detail work.
 
What is your favorite piece that you’ve created?
Perhaps my two favorites are included in this show: "Mycelial Messenger" and "Deerdancer" both are pieces I am pleased with the resulting work but they also depict two individuals I have incredible respect for.
 
Any advice to young artists?
Do not get so fixated on your quest for technical proficiency in your medium that you neglect learning about and being aware of the workings of the world around you. To me, slick refined art means little if it lacks any thought behind its creation.

Painting Live in the Gallery

Martin painted live in the gallery on Thursdays and Saturdays for the duration of his show. 

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