Mandy Martin

1952 | Adelaide, Australia

Australian painter.

A graduate of the South Australian School of Art (1975), where she also taught, Mandy Martin is a figurative painter influenced by her Australian roots and the respect of nature. She first practiced engraving and created politically engaged posters: one of which, depicting Vietcong women demonstrating in front of a giant bottle of Coca-Cola, was published in the New York feminist magazine Heresies in 1977. She acquired great fame in the late 1970s by contributing to the circulation ideas linked to the Progressive Art Movement and the Women’s Art Movement. After moving to Canberra in 1978 she returned to painting with urban and industrial scenes inspired by the suburbs of Canberra and Sydney. Despite the absence of figures, the isolated buildings represented, for her, individual solitude, particularly that of women immigrants. Exhibited for the first time in Melbourne in 1981, these austere, large-format paintings with an expressionist touch highlight the overwhelming power of a machinist world and the contrast between nature and culture, as seen with the series Powerhouses (1983).

During the same period, the painter researched English Romantic landscapes from the end of the 18th and early 19thcenturies. A commission for the new Parliament House in Canberra, Red Ochre Cove (1988) reveals a dual influence: Aboriginal culture and European tradition. In the 1990s M. Martin abandoned industrial scenes for the Australian desert with ochre panoramic scenes. In 1997 she travelled to the south-west of Queensland in Australia, then to Italy, where she followed the footsteps of painter Salvatore Rosa. The socio-political dimension of her painting took a mythological and ecological turn in large-format canvases. She organised environmental art workshops in remote areas in collaboration with indigenous Australians. Her work is present in various art collections.

Fanny Drugeon

Translated from French by Katia Porro.

From the Dictionnaire universel des créatrices
© 2013 Des femmes – Antoinette Fouque
© Archives of Women Artists, Research and Exhibitions
Linked theme
Discover other artists

of Women Artists
& Exhibitions

Facebook - AWARE Twitter - AWARE Instagram - AWARE
Villa Vassilieff - 21, avenue du Maine 75015 Paris (France) — info[at]aware-art[.]org — +33 (0)1 55 26 90 29