“I FIND BEING an artist is like having a diary for the world to view,” says South Australian artist Angus Martin. The painter – whose practice revolves around fluid figures and lines strong enough to move Matisse himself – uses his craft to capture the feelings that arise from love and relationships. The deep emotional resonance of these works belies a simple approach to figurative art, with Angus relying on fragmented shapes to piece together cohesive forms.
“I struggle with letting people know the true insight into the meanings behind pieces,” he admits. “But I find when I do open up and tell people the meanings, the reactions have been so positive.”
With a focus on the psychology behind colours, Angus balances dark and bright shades to strengthen the impact of his work and evoke emotions from his audience. In a recent piece for a newlywed couple, Angus worked with golden hues and seas of green to symbolise harmony, emotional healing and protection. Artworks that are equal in presence and emotional response are well within the artist’s wheelhouse.
State of mind is an important factor in Angus’ process. The artist says his studio needs to be completely tidy before he begins to lay down paint on paper. “Clear space, clear mind,” he says. “I regularly burn Palo Santo to cleanse my space. I’m also surrounded by plants, lots of natural light and music, always.”
Angus doesn’t just let this music drift around his studio; he also channels it into his work. Many of his pieces are named after songs that have had a profound influence. “Music can resurface a lot of memories and if I am drawn to a specific lyric or tune, I’m transported to a particular time or place,” he says. To further convey this meaning to his viewers, the artist dabbles in multi-sensual surfaces, infusing his acrylic paints with essential oils that bring a third dimension to his work.
As Angus reminisces on a high school teacher who told him that he was always daydreaming and disconnected from the real world, it becomes clear that this preoccupation with the emotional realm was present from a young age. “It’s only in the past few years that I actually started to realise that my daydream state is where my creativity is fuelled,” he muses. “It’s a place where ideas come to life.”
This year, Angus will take his daydreaming around the world. His work will be on display at Affordable Art Fair New York 2019, Affordable Art Fair Hong Kong 2019, and this year’s The Other Art Fair Sydney.