Photo: Martyn Cross in Bristol, South West

Martyn Cross

Artist, Writer

The work of Martyn Cross provides us with snapshots and artefacts from a fictional archaeology of outsiderdom. Using paint and collage, Cross modifies found images of homely comforts into visions from the end days of the human project. In his offerings we find dirty sleeping bags, a pile of pastry bones, a spent campfire. A cast of fugitive misfits perform uncertain rites, lose limbs or grow too much hair. And when they go into hiding the effect is all the more uncanny...

- Brendan Lancaster, artist, 2014

Martyn Cross presents us with a disturbing and weird world, one where joy and innocence appear infected with dark thoughts and actions. Often using the covers of found knitting patterns as his canvas, brightly coloured images of happiness and comfort are disfigured and despoiled so that their subjects find their newly knitted garments covered in various bodily excretions or the idyllic backdrops they depict become potential scenes of death and violence. When exhibiting, Cross tends to show clusters of individual works together, adding to a growing cavalcade of transgression as he does so. However, not all is as dark as it first appears. Cross is involved in an examination of our quest to make sense of our existence and the desire to transcend the mundanity of our everyday lives. His subjects take on an almost mythical persona, inhabiting parallel worlds, ones that do not adhere to the same social order as our own. They are there to act out our most primal and private urges, so we don't have to - or take the consequences - ourselves. Each image functions as a votive offering to appease the 'gods' of our own shadowy inner selves.

- Paul Stone for 'Future50' 2008

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Location Bristol, South West
Activities Practice-based research, Critical writing, Creative writing, Curating, Collecting
Artforms / type of project Drawing, Installation, Mixed Media, Painting, Unclassified
Tags Painting, Outsider, Uncanny, Vandalism, Method

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