Martyn Lucas

“A constant for over 20 years has been observational drawing in small sketchbooks. Looking at a drawing I have made takes me to the moment in that place far more powerfully than looking at a photograph.

Having got back into the studio after many years I am revisiting early interests and influences. I enjoy watercolour landscape. I love the medium – its fluency, its directness and its stubbornness. In the studio, painting is a way of being ‘in the moment’”.

Martyn Lucas has over twenty years experience as an artist, curator and educator. From 2003-13 he managed a public art gallery in Greater Manchester, delivering a wide range of exhibitions, learning and outreach for adults, children, young people, families and community groups. He is currently freelance and in addition to his painting practice, is working on projects with artists and communities in Greater Manchester, Lancashire and Yorkshire.

Martyn’s recent practice has returned to landscape, and in particular the use of watercolour. Works are derived from painting on site, from sketchbook images and photographs. The ‘difficulty of landscape’ series includes visual disruptions to the scene. They are about painting as much as place; about the qualities of mark making, light and composition as much as depicting land and sky. They are about the process of looking, of finding a ‘view’, but also glimpsing the landscape through a train window, or the changing clouds beyond some roof tops. There is a tension between the traditional ‘sublime’ and a modern day sense of transformation of landscape through human activity.

Martyn has exhibited widely in galleries in the UK and developed a number of socially engaged projects, including Dialogue (London), Hospitals Talking Art (Aberdeen and London), and Enclosure (Banff, Canada). He has worked with a range of artists, curators and organisations, including the Arts Council Collection, Alan Cristea, Gimpel Fils, Tate Liverpool, the Whitworth Art Gallery, Howard Hodgkin, Gillian Ayres, Tony Bevan, Norman Dilworth, Angela Kingston, Andrew Bick, Leo Fitzmaurice, Philip Davenport, Inga Hamilton, My Tarpit, OWL Project and Willie Williams.


Curator of ‘Unfamiliar Ground’ for Chrysalis Arts Ltd.

Guest selector on West Lancashire Open Exhibition at Chapel Gallery, Ormskirk.

Guest selector on ‘Connections North’ international print exhibition.

Project curator for ‘Our Art Neighbourhood’, Leigh Neighbours Project.

Guest selector on North Yorkshire Open Studios.

Exhibitor in Warrington Contemporary Open exhibition.