Malcolm Martin and Gaynor Dowling
Martin and Dowling have worked together since 1997, their collaborative pieces straddling the fields of sculpture and craft. The artists comment that their work is, about the encounter of hand, wood and chisel, where pattern and texture emerge from the repetitive nature of the act of carving itself.
Their different backgrounds – Martin studied sculpture before going on to the Royal College of Art, while Dowling trained as textile artist – spark their collaboration, bringing the fluidity and rhythm of textiles to this least fluid of mediums.
In their most recent work the black abstract forms evoke a human presence through their scale and posture. Scale has always been important to their work, whether it is the intimacy of a piece to be held in the hand, or the architectural scale of their public art pieces. Even in their well-known vessel pieces a sense of the figure is rarely entirely absent, as the artists state, Our forms hover somewhere between imagined vessels and the memories of bodies.
Martin and Dowling live and work in Gloucestershire, UK. They have an established international reputation and an impressive collector base, having sold a large group of pieces to haute couture designer Karl Lagerfeld. The artists’ work is also held in many public collections, including the Crafts Council, UK; Boston Museum of Fine Art, USA; Birmingham City Museum and Art Gallery (Contemporary Art Society purchase) UK; Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge, UK; Ruskin Gallery, Sheffield, UK; and The Wood Turning Center, Philadelphia, PA.