In conversation with… Alex Stanier-Martin
We talk to one of Arts Central’s newest artist residents, Alex Stanier-Martin, in the latest of our ‘In conversation…’ interviews
The medium I work in is acrylic paint and graphite pencil. They really work for me as I can keep strong control of what I’m wanting to do.
How did you get into art?
I got into art through school, I naturally enjoyed making art as a child. I became more passionate about art when beginning my GCSE subjects, but everything accelerated when I moved school for ‘A’ Levels; I connected more with the subject I made pieces on.
How would you describe your work?
Detailed and realistic, I like recreating an image.
What inspires you?
I’m intrigued by the human body and how the muscles are and move, especially in my sport/hobby of rock climbing. The movements and positions you can get yourself in to perform a move are astonishing, and I find the muscle definition that shows fascinating. My mum’s work is also an inspiration, which she did when travelling and at university. The photographs and negatives I find beautiful, to have an eye like that is amazing.
Tell us about a recent project/piece of art.
A recent project I have been working on is of a landscape, about A2 and I’m using acrylic paint for a commission. It has been something completely outside of my comfort zone and I have learnt so much from it.
What do you enjoy most about being an artist?
I don’t have the greatest attention span when it comes to education and reading. So, to be able to focus and concentrate on a piece – even if it’s the smallest of sections –for endless hours without going off subject gives me so much enjoyment and fulfilment.
What do you find most challenging?
Trying new things. I can be very pedantic about work, and doing experiments with different mediums could make me feel uncomfortable. In ‘A’ Levels I had to do more of this, and with a push from my teacher I would; the results came out quite well most of the time so it would always make me feel accomplished. As I found out, charcoal was fun as well as oil sticks.
If you were choosing art to put in your own home, what sort of pieces would you go for and why?
Definitely some of my mum’s pieces as I have a few on my wall now. Some of MC Escher’s work, the illusions I find fascinating. I really like a mix of modern and vintage and his work I could see would really fit.
Why did you decide to become a resident at Arts Central?
I needed the space; the more I got into art the more equipment I acquired, which I could not fit into my room and it was becoming too claustrophobic, sadly. An old colleague who has their own studio here, spoke about Arts Central and showed me around. It felt like the right decision.
What are your goals for the next five years?
I hope to become a qualified climbing instructor and make more artwork relating to my climbing interest. To travel really. Experience and learn adult life. With things changing constantly I find it hard to have-long term goals, so for now mainly keeping them short.