Quentin Martin's 'From the source'
From the source is the beautiful story of the artist, Quentin Martin’s, life-long relationship with journey and passage through a continuously evolving, changing and rolling British landscape. A journey that finds its beginnings in the South West English countryside of Dorset and its nearby rural contexts, slowly weaving its way across the land and through both rural and occasionally urban fabric. It is through this body of work that we are able to explore what passage through place in the search for paintings and new perspectives looks like.
Produced en plein air, the work is as much about the journey, in search of the subject, as it is the subject itself. The paintings therefore exist as unique reactions to expedition and place. This notion of expedition and journey is one of the core aspects of the artist’s work; where he is able to colour the beauty found in venturing into territories unknown. Through an almost cartographic exploration of the landscape, beginning from a very young age, the artist has been able to uncover dramatic ground conditions, slopes, and vast open spaces, which at the beginning almost seem to him like a series of disjointed elements, but through passage and movement at once suddenly align to take the shape of their uniquely perfect compositions, becoming the subject of the next painting.
The pendulum swings from the far fewer paintings of buildings to the much more vast collection of landscapes, owing to the artists feeling that buildings, for the most part truly, lack a sincere relationship with their context. Interestingly, this relationship between rural and urban is communicated through compositions that intentionally lack people; revealing very specific spatial understandings and landscape practices that differ between city and countryside.
The final breath of life into these carefully sourced compositions is owing to that very unique immediacy of painting in the moment. The pictures capture a certain quality that few photographs of a landscape really can. Within each one lie the implications and attributes of a constantly evolving nature, where no one moment is the same. Through a montage-like layering of changing light, unified with the carefully considered compositions of both gentle and violently moving landscape, Quentin’s paintings capture the unique, subtle moods of space and place. Collectively, this series poses novel perspectives on our understanding of what a landscape really can be.