Landscape painter and songwriter Martha Marlow is pulled to the canvas in the same way she is pulled to the sea near her home: to inhabit the realm of her ideas and transcend her limitations.
“I live with a rare autoimmune condition and I also have bilateral talipes that makes it difficult for me to walk far. Essentially my art has been largely shaped by my limitations, and the chronic pain which never leaves me,” she says, admitting that nothing makes her happier than to sit quietly and sketch the landscape, although at home, her painting is usually accompanied by the sound of jazz.
“I paint to distil the essence of my life’s experience, and receive no greater pleasure than from simply sitting in the landscape, or being completely immersed and focused on a life model. It becomes my expression and my meaning.”
Having studied at the National Art School in Sydney, majoring in oil painting, Martha won the drawing prize in her first year and in 2020 she was a finalist in the Paddington Landscape Art Prize.
At the same time, she was writing many of the songs which feature on her ARIA nominated debut album, ‘Medicine Man’.
“There’s this beautiful undergrowth, that precisely because of my own fragility and impermanence, my life is glowing ever more strongly, because this is what makes every moment we have, however difficult, still deeply precious and beautiful.”
Portrait photography courtesy Richard Weinstein.