Bio

“A sense of stillness is found in the art of Martin Campbell which concerns itself with the significance of place and place name. These are magical, timeless paintings with something of the Chagall about them combined with an oriental refinement, a sense of minimal and spontaneous effort, a sureness of eye and hand.”     

Sandra Gibson, Nerve Magazine, Liverpool

Martin Campbell’s art includes many well known subjects, but his paintings have become especially associated with places less travelled or seen – places that may never have been painted before.  While Ireland’s coastal districts boast some of the most spectacular scenery in the world, it is often the quieter, hidden locations that capture his imagination.  As he outlines himself, this curiosity for the lesser known started early on:       

“When I was very young I used to stand on the crossbar of our front gate in Newry to see the green hills that rose to the north.  I stared at the colours and shapes, wondering what that place was called, who might live up there and what things happen in those hills.  I’ve never lost that fascination with the landscape and try to bring it to every piece of work I start.  I hope it comes across.” 

Martin has taken part in group exhibitions across Ireland and Britain including at the BBC in Belfast and the Irish Consulate in Edinburgh.  Along with artists Derek Cully and Eamon Colman, he organised ‘Fís 2008’ – a major exhibition of Irish contemporary art which was an official event of Liverpool 2008, European Capital of Culture. 

Martin has had one-man shows at The Sean Hollywood Arts Centre in Newry, Cavan Library and The Gerard Dillon Gallery in Belfast amongst other venues.  His art was used to illustrate an anthology of Irish and Scots poetry published by Cavan-based Windows Publications and edited by Heather Brett and Noel Monahan.

In addition to his paintings, Martin has been taking photographs since he received his first camera aged ten.  The photographs on these pages represent the first time he has put his photography in the public domain.  They capture both urban and rural subjects – highlighting the visual drama of both environments while retaining the sense of stillness present in his paintings.

 

“A sense of stillness is found in the art of Martin Campbell which concerns itself with the significance of place and place name. These are magical, timeless paintings with something of the Chagall about them combined with an oriental refinement, a sense of minimal and spontaneous effort, a sureness of eye and hand.”     

Sandra Gibson, Nerve Magazine, Liverpool

Martin Campbell was born in Newry, Co Down and began painting and taking photographs in his mid teens.  He learned his craft in the stunning landscape of counties Down and Armagh which gave him ample opportunity to master skies, seas and mountains in both watercolour and Chinese ink.

He has taken part in many group exhibitions across Ireland and Britain including at the BBC in Belfast and the Irish Consulate in Edinburgh.  He has had one-man shows at The Gerard Dillon Gallery in Belfast, Cavan Library and The Sean Hollywood Arts Centre in Newry.  In 2008, Cavan-based Windows Publications invited Martin to be the featured artist in their Anthology of poetry and short stories.

That year also, Martin along with Liverpool-based artist Derek Cully, organised ‘Fís 2008’ – a major exhibition of Irish contemporary art which was an official event of Liverpool 2008 European Capital of Culture.

In addition to his painting, Martin’s photography captures both urban and rural subjects.  His urban photography aims to highlight the visual drama of a big city – the sight of a skyscraper through a narrow alleyway or the blaze of a neon sign on the underground.  While his landscape photography concentrates on light, shadow and the interplay between sky, water and land.

Martin’s exhibitions have been reviewed in publications throughout Britain and Ireland and he has been interviewed about his work many times on local and national radio.  An original Martin Campbell painting is not only a work of art but an investment and his work is included in collections at home, across Europe and North America.