New drawing – Waterloo State Forest, view from the back

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Waterloo State Forest, view from the back
Lily Mae Martin
105 x 75cm
Ink on Paper

Waterloo State Forest, view from the back is an exploration of death and grief through the peripheral. Much of my work focuses on the intimate details of the human body, but watching a loved one die can complicate that work. Death is the process of the body shutting down, and documenting that isn’t always possible or right. Waterloo is the documentary of a life passing, and of the lives around it changing, as it is experienced through the landscape: a hushed forest, pitted with mineshafts; the perpetual shifting of light and shadow; the symbiosis of regrowth and decay.

Close Up

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It took about two weeks to find my way with this work, which was hard but so worth it. Now I can’t wait to get to drawing and I do have to stop and do adult things and parent things but I am so lucky my studio is just out the back so once everyone is in bed I can just get back to it.

I think I will get this done sooner than I thought, and I have a second one planned.

Under Skin, Under Earth – A Tribute

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Under Skin, Under Earth. Ink on paper, 56 x 76cm , 2016

My Grandmother died a few days before I finished this drawing, it has been so hard to finish.

This begun as an experiment, which is the best part of not having a deadline – experimentation. I want to find ways to explore mortality – all the life and death lessons I have experienced over the last couple of years. I thought I would write about them – but that doesn’t feel like the right to do for me.

I’ve tried drawing people’s objects and painting still lives of flowers, while they were fun to do, they were not enough. I’ve been road tripping and sitting and reading and sketching and photographing and I get inklings of things and then I moved towards other things. I’ll get there, I’ll find it.

When I was a teenager, I spoke to Grandmother on the phone and she had asked me about my drawing. She always asked me about my drawing. When I told her I wasn’t doing that anymore she told me that I was being silly/ stupid/ ridiculous – one of those words, all of which I was deserving. I was such an angry teenager and was putting all that anger into being destructive towards myself instead of being constructive. Anyway, she said I was being silly/ stupid/ ridiculous – that I have a gift. I shouldn’t waste it.

So I’ve been trying not to waste it. I’ve had busy hands for a number of years now. In my early twenties I was making toys, she showed me how to make a simply teddy out of felt. I made a pirate one and Grandma examined it, said I was clever but I make repulsive things. I was really proud.I’ve been trying to make things that I think she would be interested in, my art has run the gamut of angst to art school to hyper sexualized to general interest and exploration of body to telling life stories. The kind of stories that Grandma’s would be interested in. It pains me that when our minds and experience become so rich, our bodies begin to age and fail.

Grandma passed away on Monday evening, I looked up the clock face of the Melbourne Town Hall around the time she left. When I got the texts and the calls and found out what time I remember this moment.. I wonder of it is connected. But maybe that’s just what we all do, try to find meaning in things and maybe there isn’t any meaning.

We are all so temporary. It’s heartbreaking.

News~

Morning Song, ink on paper, 76 x 56cm , 2016

Morning Song, ink on paper, 76 x 56cm , 2016

Hallo!
I am really pleased to say that my drawing Morning Song has been shortlisted for the Rick Amor drawing prize and my drawing Wrestling Three has been shortlisted for the National Works on Paper prize.
These are both really amazing exhibitions and I am really, really proud of the work that I have going into these exhibitions.

The Rick Amor opens July 9th at the Art Gallery of Ballarat and the National Works on Paper Prize opens 16th of July at the Mornington Peninsula Regional Gallery.

Hope you can make it down to see the works while they are on display. Good luck to all the shortlisted artists!

 Wrestling three, ink on paper, 75 x 105cm, 2015

Wrestling three, ink on paper, 75 x 105cm, 2015

One Hour Drawings

salt_pepper_kitties_lily_mae_martin Grandma’s salt and pepper kitties

Over the last week I have been back in my studio, I begun a drawing that I think will take me about three months to complete. It’s new and something I have wanted to explore for a while, yet wasn’t ready – until now. Also this week I pushed myself back into drawing from life. I have slacked off a bit with that. So I set myself one hour for each of these drawings, and pushed myself to get as much as I could on the page to a timer.

tetris_kitchen_lily_mae_martin Tetris Kitchen

elephant_ear_lily_mae_martin Elephant ears plant

table_stuff_lily_mae_martin Table Stuff

phallic_banana_lily_mae_martin Phallic Banana

Seriously – how phallic is it!
see

nose_dive_lily_mae_martin Nose Dive

The last one is a drawing of a bird that I found this morning. I was walking past a hospital and saw something fall to the ground from my peripheral – it made a noise when it landed that made me turn. I thought it dead but when I looked closer I saw it’s tiny body breathing, little black eyes blinking at me. So I called wildlife rescue and while giving my location details, so a rescuer could come and collect the bird, it opened it’s beak up super wide and then it just stopped. Last breath. It blinked no more. So I told the lady on the other end and she asked that I could at least move it so people wouldn’t step on it, which I did. And then I drew it. What a strange thing to witness but at least I was there in it’s final moments so it didn’t get stepped on.