In Studio: Hollie Martin

Words: Diana Nguyen | Pictures: Amanda Como

Diana Nguyen meets artist Hollie Martin at her Elizabeth Bay studio to talk about turning a craft into a career and Martin's colourful installation at our Sydney city window. 

With the Australian arts scene flourishing in recent years, scores of hidden creative talent has been unearthed and brought to the fore. One emerging quiet achiever is Sydney-based artist, Hollie Martin, whose profile is set to soar following a busy year of collaborations and solo exhibitions.

The 26-year-old began pursuing a professional career in the arts five years ago, after graduating from the Newcastle Art School with an advanced diploma in fine arts. Although the prospect of self-employment seemed “daunting” at first, Hollie eventually grew comfortable with the idea and decided to hit the ground running.

“Now I finally feel a bit confident to say ’Okay, I’m going to do this myself and I can do this on my own’,” she told Incu.

Her major break came when she collaborated with Cake Wines in March this year, developing a design for their Pinot Grigio. Then she had her first solo exhibition at China Heights Gallery and launched her 'New Terrain' installation for Incu’s Window Projects in April.

Consisting of paper pyramid sculptures spray-painted in a kaleidoscope of colours, the installation has been described as an “exploration into repetition, composition, and the use of colour to present a visual beauty”. It allowed Hollie to experiment with a different medium that was worlds away from her specialty in drawings and watercolours.

“I’m in a constant process of experimenting… it keeps it interesting for me,” she said. “The Incu Window was really fun, as I was able to do something that I don’t normally do.”

Although largely influenced by the repetitive nature of her past work as a printmaker, Hollie also draws inspiration from other artists, such as Kevin Tran and Tara Marynowsky, and the aesthetically pleasing: colours, nature, and sunshine.

Not limited in her creative pursuits, Hollie has plans to broaden her craft and build on her jewellery line, which is sparked by her interest in the recontextualisation of artworks into wearable art.

With her work going from strength to strength, Hollie is on her way to becoming a full-fledged artist. She recently signed to an illustration agency called The Illustration Room and will hold another show – said to feature acrylics on boards and a mural – at China Heights Gallery later this year.