“The fabric constructions I make combine fine art’s conceptualism with traditional woman’s craft. Photographs, drawings, paintings, and objects are mixed with fabrics, threads, and text in order to communicate poetically. Meditative handwork fills most of the pieces.
Traditional quilt patterns and multi-cultural symbols concerning birth, death, and sexuality are the foundation for my artwork. When one considers the connection that these rites of passage have to the bed, then the quilt is an obvious and powerful medium.”
-Judith Martin Textile Artist
For nearly thirty years, Judy Martin has participated in over one hundred group shows in Canada, the USA, Europe, and Japan and has produced twenty-four solo exhibitions. Her wall piece, Cross My Heart,was the only Canadian entry juried into the prestigious Quilt National 2011 exhibition.
Despite these achievements, Martin is not part of the urban art world network. Her entire life has been spent in the relative isolation and peaceful beauty of Northern Ontario, Canada. This self-imposed retreat has had a marked effect on her work with stitch and cloth. The artist resides with her husband on Manitoulin Island, the furthest south she has ever lived.
All her life Martin has studied art and she possesses her second fine art degree acquired through distance education. Her work is grounded in the phenomenological idea that the sense of touch is the most effective way to connect emotionally with others. Her repetitive stitches communicate directly to our inner world.
Her Finnish father and intellectual mother raised their family on a large property ten miles from the North Western Ontario town of Fort Frances. The Finnish characteristic, SISU, (courage, optimism, indomitable will) sets Judy Martin’s work apart.