Brendan Jamison: Collecting Contemporary Art [Part 2: Horror!]

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Artist Miguel Martin executing a wall drawing in the Ulster Hall, 2010.


Rewind to December 2011. Entering the Golden Thread Gallery to view the exhibition titled ‘Hope is a thing with Feathers’, curated by Sarah McAvera, a collection of 30 Miguel Martin ink drawings is on show in the project space. Titled ‘All Good in the Manhood’ they appear as random stills from a horror movie. The drawings are arranged in three stacked rows, leaving the mind constantly darting between the pulsating rhythms of each element in this opera of horror. The disjointed narrative is an intelligent device that invites the viewer to construct a plot. In essence the work is completed by the imagination of the audience as they connect the dots. Violent. Surreal. Gothic. Sexual. Humourous. Lured into this strange but poetic world, it is challenging to select a favourite, in the end, I purchase three, ‘Bleeding Church’, ‘Shades’ and ‘Stake’.

BLEEDING CHURCH from the series ALL GOOD IN THE MANHOOD (2011) Miguel Martin, Indian ink on paper, 10 x 10 cms


In a continuation of the dark themes explored by the revered Spanish painter Francisco Goya (1746-1828) and the disturbing world of English contemporary artists Dinos and Jake Chapman (1962- and 1966- respectively), Martin effectively combines his dark imagination with a visual commentary on 21st Century life. Executed in a playful comic-book style, the drawings with the most disturbing concepts will likely attract collectors such as Charles Saatchi.

Born in 1985, Martin graduated with a First Class BA Honours degree in Fine Art from the University of Ulster in 2008. Over the past 4 years, he has exhibited extensively in Northern Ireland, with five solo exhibitions and many significant group shows at Platform Arts, Black Box, Naughton Gallery, Royal Ulster Academy, PS2, Catalyst Arts and Parliament Buildings. He has also won many commissions and awards, notably from the Northern Bank and the Arts Council of Northern Ireland. In 2010, Martin exhibited in Italy with the John Erickson Museum of Art in the ‘Next Chapter’ touring exhibition at the Raccolte Frugone Museum, Genoa. In 2011 he held his first critically-acclaimed solo show in New York, ‘All Good in the Manhood’ at the Abrons Art Center.

Martin’s new 2012 series titled ‘The Playground’ was on show at the London Art Fair (17-22 January 2012) at the Golden Thread Gallery booth. A panoramic epic and 4 smaller Indian ink drawings were sold to international art collectors. An artist to buy into now, Miguel Martin is definitely an artist to watch.

THE ROUNDABOUT from the series THE PLAYGROUND (2012) Miguel Martin, Indian ink on paper, 19 x 19 cms


THE SPIDER from the series THE PLAYGROUND (2012) Miguel Martin, Indian ink on paper, 19 x 19 cms


ASLEEP from the series THE DEVIL MADE ME DRAW IT (2009) Miguel Martin, Indian ink on paper, 29 x 42 cms


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About Author

Born 1979 in Belfast, Northern Ireland, Brendan Jamison studied for six years at the University of Ulster where he gained a BA Honours degree in Fine and Applied Arts in 2002 and then a Master of Fine Art in 2004. Over the past eight years, his sculptures have been widely exhibited throughout the world with shows in Scotland, Wales, England, France, Germany, Austria, Sweden, Italy, America, Canada, New Zealand, India and China. He has also been awarded residencies in New Delhi and New York. From 2006-2009, Jamison taught study skills coaching at Belfast's School of Art & Design. In 2009 he was a visting lecturer at the University of Florida. That same year, a small Jamison work was entered into the permanent collection of MoMA, New York's Museum of Modern Art, as part of the international unbound project titled 'A Book About Death'. In 2010, Jamison was commissioned by Native Land & Grosvenor to build sugar cube scale models of Tate Modern and NEO Bankside for the London Festival of Architecture. His carved sugar cube sculptures were later sold at Sotheby's (Bond Street, London) in an exhibition of contemporary art curated by Janice Blackburn. 2012 will see a carved sugar sculpture of Number 10 exhibited inside 10 Downing Street, London. Jamison has received six awards from the Arts Council of Northern Ireland and is represented in Ireland by Hillsboro Fine Art, Dublin. He is represented in the UK by the Golden Thread Gallery and Dickon Hall Gallery, Belfast. Jamison enjoys considerable world-wide media coverage for his sculpture practice, with significant reviews in Sculpture Magazine, published by the International Sculpture Center in America. Other notable reviews include The Washington Times, BBC Brasil, BBC News, ITV News and Channel 5 News in the UK, The Times, London Evening Standard and Metro newspapers in London, The Hindu and The Inside Track in India, The Jakarta Post in Indonesia and The Weekly News in Scotland. In Ireland he is regularly featured in the art magazines Circa and the Irish Arts Review. Jamison is also frequently discussed on BBC Radio Ulster and reviewed in local newspapers The Irish News, News Letter, South Belfast News and Belfast Telegraph.

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