Garry Martin

A few words to broaden your understanding,( of my artwork )

'Sink and Swim' seems laden with childhood metaphor, but is really a lesson in looking. I wanted to create a series of questions with the viewer, designed to steer you in the wrong direction. The materials, apparently on offer and importantly the objects being a pair set up a triple bluff.

armband (web)

'Self Made Man' : As a professional sculptor, I became aware that the actual physical process of my practice, involving the crafting of the artwork, means that I am, in effect, making my own money. In the strictest sense of the word. So I thought why not bypass the creative process of making a sculpture, and actually 'make' my own money. But as a sculptor it was obvious that my 'money' had to be sculptural, hence the production of the gold bars.
Visually, they are alluring objects, objects that represent value. Objects that symbolise the very essence of what we base our monetary system on. These bars exist as personalised icons of value. Proudly and cheekily imitating real gold, they question the price of everything, especially art. How much is anything 'worth'. Intentionally gold leafed ( a traditional artistic technique, used to add immediate visual value to many 'objects d'art' throughout history) and not real gold, they continue my theme of imitating reality through the use of surface.

self made man

'My Monolith' is laden with metaphor and has an obvious and intentional reference to one of the most iconic 'objects'/images of modern cinema.
It is made of fibreglass and sprayed and polished to a mirror finish. It is 90cm high, 40cm wide and 10cm deep. These proportions are important as they are the same as the monolith from Stanley Kubrick's science fiction masterpiece, '2001: a Space Odyssey'. In the film, a 4 million year old 'Alien' monolith of these proportions is found on the moon. Many believe it is this alien 'intervention' that has enabled man to make it's advancements. Importantly, it is totally impenetrable to any investigation.
I think of books as impenetrable. I find the act of reading difficult to enjoy and therefore the knowledge contained within books often remains unattainable to me. This is why my monolith is in the form of a book. The sculpture also has what has become a signature of mine; the upholstered button. This also acts as a visual clamping device, ensuring the book could never be opened.

my monolith2007(4)

'Home Grown' resembles a balloon but gives the impression it's made of wood or, more accurately, a tree. Although it's not carved from a tree, it seems as if the tree is actually growing in the form of a balloon. I see it as a dada/surreal object: the permanence, solidity and weight of a tree, coupled with the transient, softness and lightweight nature of a balloon. Made completely from fibreglass and filler (including the escaping twig and balloon knot), it was a technical challenge which I enjoyed.
The idea for this grew from a commission I did for an outdoor sculpture show in a National Trust garden at Stourhead, Wiltshire. You may want to check out the comments at The same piece ( J'adore ) has been adapted for a wall of a private collectors house.


'Prize' is a simple piece, offering the absurb possibility of water existing in the shape formed whilst in a bag but not actually having the bag as support. Using the cliche of a goldfish in a bag, as if won at a fairground, the piece has an engaging charm, not least because of the goldfish's confused expression.


'G.S.O.H.-03'. During a visit to the Imperial War Museum, I found myself drawn to the bombs missiles and ammunition shells. I admired them, initially as sculptural forms; forms that follow a function. To kill. So I wanted to take this familiar and attractive form and add,change or morph it to another that would seem absurd and incongruous. Therefore this piece became the first to use the deep buttoning technique that I have used on other pieces. I feel the familiarity of the buttoning carries a metaphor for relaxation, comfort and home familiarity. Which is in itself totally opposite to the association we hold with the form of an ammunition shell.

'Swallow' is at first glance representative of a pill. A torpedo type drug capsule that you might take for a headache for example. Once again the deep buttoned effect has been used to represent comfort, relaxation and this case relief. Relief from the ailment that is troubling us. On top of that, upon further inspection, it seems to made of flesh, the very thing the drug is intended to relieve the pain of. Indeed the surface of the piece has an exact cast of my very own skin. personilising it and at the same time adding that push-pull factor I love to induce in the viewer.


'Couple' always draws attention, due to the way it speaks to us all. We've all been in this emotive situation. Two bodies, stylised but definately one male and one female, lying together, but most definately apart. White and padded, they become tombs of the bodies they represent, imprisoning them in a maddening situation.


'Home is Where the Heart is' : RIP gran.


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