Adelaide-born Mandy Martin (1952-2021) was an artist, activist, and educator who, over the course of her thirty-year career, created poignant and powerful political prints as well as large-scale paintings that seek to incite action.
Martin studied at the South Australian School of Art (1972-75) and co-founded the Progressive Art Movement (PAM) with fellow South Australian artists Ann Newmarch, Andrew Hill, Pam Harris and Robert Boynes. She relocated to Canberra in 1978 to take up a teaching position at the Canberra School of Art, a position she held until 2003. She went on to become a Fellow of the Australian National University and was awarded an Adjunct Professorship in 2008.
From the early 1970s Martin was involved in feminist and political art movements and her practice highlighted the plight of migrant women workers, the anti-Vietnam involvement, and issues of corruption in ‘big business’. As Martin’s career progressed, her focus shifted to explore the impacts of humanity on the environment and the increasing threat of climate change. These concerns were expressed through evocatively-charged arid landscapes made of furious brushstrokes. She continued to paint and maintained an active studio practice until her untimely death in July 2021 after a long battle with cancer.
In 2014 Martin donated 130 political posters and prints to Flinders University Museum of Art through the Australian Government’s Cultural Gifts Program. Featuring many works by the artist herself, the donation also includes works on paper by her contemporaries such as Alison Alder, Chips Mackinolty, Marie McMahon, Ann Newmarch, Toni Robertson, and Eugenia Tsoulis.
Explore FUMA’s Online Collections Catalogue to learn more about the works donated by Mandy Martin: https://artsearch.flinders.edu.au/
Exhibitions and Public Programs Manager, Flinders University Museum of Art
Adelaide, Australia, 2021
© Flinders University Museum of Art