Martyn Overs

After an initial training in sculpture, my current work is exclusively two dimensional, drawing inspiration from the golden age of 1930’s commercial art, in particular British travel and underground posters. I am always fascinated by the recurring interaction between the Fine Art and Design employed by these early twentieth century practitioners and my current work aims to pay homage to the interplay between their artistic ideas. My ‘posters’ are not really posters, whose original purpose was ostensibly that of trying to sell something, but by the addition of a contemporary narrative, I try to visually celebrate the historic  and cultural traditions of Britain in an accessible form.

This poses my first dilemma ….
Design, colour and composition as opposed to style ……?

I am currently absorbed with the language of printmaking, specifically the democratic process of producing linocuts; in my case this avoids the use of printing presses, choosing instead the artist’s hand to burnish each individual print. I feel this is more sympathetic and appropriate to the natural subjects which concern me. It involves no specialist equipment and by skilful manipulation in varying the pressure when burnishing, I can achieve subtle tonal differences not possible with a press.

I try to capture the underlying movement and rhythms of birds, their sometimes complex forms and mannerisms, recasting them in a bold and imaginative way.

This poses my second dilemma …..
The too familiar can be banal; sometimes ‘cutesie’ … yet the opposite can be construed as unintelligible and viewed as arrogant and exclusive.