above MARTIN EDGE, MARTIN’S PAINTING DAY, 2022. ACRYLIC ON CANVAS, ANIMATION AND AUGMENTED REALITY. IMAGE COURTESY OF THE ARTIST AND ANTHEA POLSON ART photos COURTESY OF PINE RIVERS ART GALLERY
A powerful force for change, art can make a deep and moving impact on our hearts and minds. With so many talented creatives in Australia moving and shaking to make the world a better place – and because Earth without art is just ‘eh’ – we’ve introduced a digital series called Art with Heart to showcase the superstars in our local art scenes.
With his playful use of colour and a candid invitation to share moments from his life – be they everyday, whimsical or monumental – celebrated artist and Autism Queensland ambassador Martin Edge paints the world “according to Martin”.
Next month he will launch his first solo exhibition, a free inclusive art experience called All the Best, from Martin Edge, at the Pine Rivers Art Gallery. Produced by City of Moreton Bay in collaboration with Pia Robinson, founder of The Culture Crusader, the team has worked alongside a number of neurodivergent artists and creatives to transport you into Martin’s wonderful world.
How did you come to be an artist?
From a very young age, I had always loved drawing. Back in 2007, I started an art course, and from there, the art found me. I didn’t go looking to be an artist; it just worked out that way. I pursued it after the course and then turned into a professional artist.
I hadn’t painted before the course and then towards the end of it, they said you have to do a portrait so that’s how it started. It was definitely ‘meant to be’.
I love city cats and busyness. I like nature, fashion and antiques. I like coffee and cake.
Tell us about your creative process…
All my art is based on the world according to Martin – from the past, present and future. Some things are from my childhood and memories, others are from interests I have… I love city cats and busyness. I like nature, fashion and antiques. I like coffee and cake. I also have quite a large imagination which you can probably see through the art.
What draws you to paint?
It brings Martin’s art to life. It’s very colourful and vibrant and makes it so Martin’s world is actually coming off the canvas. I can express myself a lot more through paint than just a pencil. It’s quite remarkable if you look at my very early works to the current works, it’s still the same person painting and I’m using exactly the same paint but it’s just changed over time.
Is there something you can’t live without in your studio?
Paper cups! I mix all my colours and put all my paints in paper cups. They’re literally my palette – my mum’s always picking them up for me so if you ever know a coffee shop that has paper cups, send them my way.
Why do you think art is important to society? And what could society do to better support neurodivergent artists?
Art gets people out of the house. It gets them up in the morning. It’s a soulful thing. It starts conversations. It’s good for the mind. The best way to support neurodivergent artists is to turn up to the exhibitions, support them, buy their work or buy their craft.
Art gets people out of the house. It gets them up in the morning. It’s a soulful thing. It starts conversations. It’s good for the mind.
What are you working on currently that excites you?
I’m working on my first major survey exhibition called All the Best from Martin Edge at Pine Rivers Art Gallery, which is an exhibition looking at my journey. It’s sensory, it’s interactive, it’s very, very exciting. I’ve still got two pictures I’m working on so a little bit behind, but they always get finished in the end. It’s running from 16 December to 16 March and you’re very welcome to come and see it.
Who are your biggest artistic influences?
Ken Done has been my favourite artist from a very young age. I love his paintings, his colour and just the way he connects and that he’s not really scared of what he does. Also, he’s genuinely a very nice person. And then Paul Smith and his work as a fashion designer. I just seem to really connect to both of them and I’ve always admired their work.
What would be your ultimate dream project?
One day, I’d love to have a children’s book and a fashion label. They say dreams come true and one day it might come true but I’m always thankful and grateful for all the things that do happen.