Inside this issue
Richard Martin's work combines an architectural love of geometry, pattern, and texture with a painter's sensitivity to the creative art of implementing aesthetic. Richard inspires participants with his photography and visual design workshops, tours, and seminars around the world.
"My photography is a celebration of the visual world. It originates straight from the heart, honest and direct. Inspired by colour, texture and light, I make photographs to express feelings surrounding my experiences, searching for visual equivalents to those feelings."
In 2012 I paused by my local river and everything changed. I’ve moved away from what many expect photographs to be: my images deconstruct the literal and reimagine the subjective, reflecting the curiosity that water has inspired in my practice. Water has been my conduit: it has sharpened my vision, given me permission to experiment and continues to introduce me to new ways of seeing.
Coincidentally, Matt Payne and I both had Richard Martin on our lists earlier this year. I deferred to Matt, who included Richard in his ‘Portrait of a Photographer’ series. Now we’re back to complete our Featured Photographer interview with Richard, who is both prolific and expressive in the personal work that he produces, and a passionate teacher of photography.
Richard is an advocate of ‘play’ and of keeping an open mind; process is important, and equipment is simply a means to an end. Often photographing close to home, Richard’s images frequently feature flow, whether in the form of water or plant life.
Would you like to start by telling readers a little about yourself – where you grew up, what your early interests were, and what that led you to do?
I was born in Kingston, Ontario, Canada, located on the eastern end of Lake Ontario at the beginning of the St. Lawrence River. Kingston is situated midway between Toronto, Ontario, and Montreal, Quebec, close to the Thousand Islands region to the east, where I spent much of my youth.
From a very young age, I had a strong interest in the visual arts, particularly drawing. I also spent considerable time exploring the natural world during my earlier years.
In the late seventies, at the beginning of my career as an Architectural Technologist, I became seriously interested in photography, discovering the camera could act as a tool for expressing genuinely personal feelings. The very first year, I purchased a complete darkroom setup and worked with both colour slides (transparency) and black and white film. I was hooked.