Q & A with Lou Martin

How would you describe your work?
My work is contemporary Aboriginal art, in every sense. I paint stories that are relevant to the here and now, rather than stories of The Dreaming. My work is predominantly contemporary colours narrating stories of life now - raising children, mental health, missing family, of community, sunsets, of walks on Country through wildflowers. It is sometimes a fusion with an abstract style whilst incorporating  traditional symbolism.
Can you give us some insight into your process for creating your artworks?
I’ve painted for nearly 27 years and, to be honest, it has always been for myself. It is a means of connection and process what’s weighing heavily on my mind. I’m not ordinarily an intuitive painter, I’m a planner. Once I’ve processed what’s preoccupying my thoughts, I decide how I want to replace any negativity surrounding it with something meaningful and beautiful. 
Is there a typical day in the studio or is every day different?
Everyday is different, with no set structure. I’m sure we are all aware just how difficult times are at the moment, so I work a second job that consists of different shifts. I also have 2 children so life is a constant juggle. My studio time is my happy place and I try to make time every day.
What inspires you when you are creating your artworks?
It can be as simple as watching a beautiful sunrise or sunset, a walk through the bush or noticing the colour palette the ocean provides.
What would your dream project/collaboration be (apart from working with Consequence of Change!?
I’ve always dreamed of having my work on clothing, so this is definitely a bucket list tick for me! I’d love to have my work on linens - sheets, doona covers, throws, cushions. My dream has always been for Aboriginal art to be as common in homes and businesses as an abstract or a watercolour. The inclusion of Aboriginal arts opens conversations.
Who are your favourite artists and why?
Oh, so many! Minnie Pwerle, Albert Namatjira, Charmaine Pwerle, Barbara Weir, Holly Sanders, Chernee Sutton, and so many more. I tend to gravitate toward the use of colour, pattern and meaning. 


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