Lily Mae Martin


Lily Mae Martin is a Melbourne-born visual artist and writer whose early years were influenced by Beatrix Potter, Elyne Mitchell and William Hogarth. As a young girl Martin was fascinated by death and the anatomy of the horse, and has been drawing and writing as far back as she can remember.

Martin studied at the Victorian College of the Arts, completing a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Drawing and participating in master classes for drawing. During this time she worked at the National Gallery of Victoria for four years. During this period she studied the anatomy of the human form, which would later become the focus of her highly technical fine line drawings and paintings. She was influenced at this time by Laurie Lipton, John Currin, Bill Henson and Jenny Saville.

After graduating from the VCA in 2008 Martin was awarded the Lionel Gell Travelling Scholarship and so moved to Berlin in early 2009. As well as exhibiting her work solo, Martin travelled extensively in Germany, and to Paris, Poland, London, Salisbury and Bath, eventually moving to Cardiff, Wales with her husband. While there she continued to develop her technical skills and exhibited in Cardiff, Los Angeles and New York.

In mid-2010 Martin gave birth to her daughter and started writing about her life experiences, a process that would continue and expand in scope for years to come. She and her family returned to Berlin, where Martin began Berlin Domestic, a blog documenting her life as a parent, artist and Australian expatriate in Germany, with each post accompanied by highly detailed and accurate sketches of her surroundings. She also had a solo exhibition titled Brutally Beautiful and exhibited in group shows in France, Berlin and Los Angeles.

Lily Mae Martin and her family have recently returned to Melbourne, Australia; Martin has been signed to Scott Livesey Galleries in Armadale, Melbourne. In July 2013 she had a successful exhibition at Scott Livesey Galleries with Matt R. Martin, showing a collection of her stunning drawings and oil paintings of both herself and other subjects.

Martin’s art has been published in works such as Juxtapoz magazine, Empty, Curvy, Semi-Permanent, Going Down Swinging, The Lifted Brow and Cottonmouth, while her writing has been published in The Azuria Journal and Kill Your Darlings. She has also been featured on the Emerging Writers blog and Hi-Fructose website.

Martin’s current work looks at the relationship between art, motherhood, feminism, domesticity, identity and anatomy of the body. Her work is technically sophisticated, yet retains an element of raw honesty and confronting depth. Martin cites The Dutch Masters, Sally Mann, Albrecht Dürer and Lucian Freud as among her current influences, and has had a lasting affinity for the writings and drawings of Sylvia Plath.

Awards & Scholarships

Shortlisted for the Rick Amor drawing prize 2013/ 14

Commonwealth Education Scholarship 2008

Steve Cox Drawing Prize 2008

Lionel Gell Traveling Scholarship 2008

Selected Exhibitions

Group Exhibitions

Benalla Nude finalist 2014
Rick Amor Drawing Prize, Art Gallery of Ballarat , Feb – Mar 2014

PERSONAE – Lily Mae Martin, Ron Francis, Matt.R.Martin & Heidi Yardley
Scott Livesey Galleries
Armadale, Melbourne
31st Aug – 21st Sept 2013

Winter Selection
Scott Livesey Galleries
Armadale, Melbourne
Jul – Aug 2013

Gallery One
Scott Livesey Galleries
Armadale, Melbourne
Nov – Dec 2012

Lilacs out of the dead land ( Showcase of six artists)
WWA Gallery
Culver City, California, USA
Apr. 2011

beinArt Collective Group Exhibition
Copro Gallery
Santa Monica, California, USA
Jun. 2010

Out of Nowhere
696 Ink
Melbourne, Australia
Apr. 2010

The forty thieves 2: The Cuban connection
Gorker gallery
Melbourne, Australia
Aug. 2009

Victorian College of the Arts Graduation show
Victorian College of the Arts
Melbourne, Australia
Nov. 2008

Chaos and Bunnies: Show with Asha Duggan
45 Downstairs
Flinders Lane, Melbourne, Australia
Jan. – Feb. 2006

Nine exhibition
With artists from the NGV Young Ambassadors Program
Arts Victoria Foyer
Melbourne, Australia

Solo Exhibitions

Far From Home
Art Gallery of Ballarat
Ballarat, Victoria
Nov  2012 – Jan  2013

Brutally Beautiful
May, 2012
theARTer gallerie, Berlin
Jul, 2009