Martin Laurance

Contemporary Artist

My work is about landscape. I try to go beyond the immediate sensation to something felt and experienced, seeking to find the spirit and inner reality of place.

About my work

My interest lies in landscapes where a sense of man’s interaction with the environment has left traces, either directly visible or now obscured and only sensed. Often these are areas where the built and the natural collide.

A good example would be Orford Ness in Suffolk, the former military and nuclear testing site, now owned by the National Trust and given over to managed decline and natural wilderness. On location I use sketchbooks to record sensations, colours, structure and form.

Many of my locations are very well known to me and have been walked over and drawn many times over a period of years and in differing seasons. In the studio I use this raw material to create work that is true to the sum of my experience. I work in a variety of mixed media; oil, acrylic, collage, ink, watercolour and gouache, either on their own or in various combinations on paper and canvas.

I also work in landscapes that carry the marks of ancient history as well as the ruins and marks of past industries. For many years the north Cornwall coast and the atmospheric moors of West Cornwall have been important.

Locally, I am drawn to the coast where change is constant. Recently I have been drawing and painting the eroding beaches, cliffs and sea defences of Norfolk and Suffolk which are constantly moving, disappearing and re-appearing.


I began my career as an engraver and graphic designer, attending art school courses in portrait sculpture and life drawing before taking a B.Ed in art and design.

I have been painting, drawing and exhibiting all my life, devoting as much time as possible to my work. I have been a full time painter since 2000. After graduation I held solo exhibitions in the UK, the Middle East and USA. I then concentrated solely upon drawing, particularly life drawing and rarely exhibited work at this time.

By the early to mid 1990’s I became interested in landscape again. After the discipline of the figure and the austerity of pencil and charcoal the scale of my work became large with vibrant colour replacing monochrome. My recent work has seen a return to monochrome and it’s expressive possibilities, but colour still remains central to most of my work.

My paintings and drawings are in public, private and corporate collections in this country and abroad, including the National Trust, Targetfollow PLC and Deloitte and Touche (Zurich).

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