Suzette Marie Martin is a figurative painter based in New England. She uses the narrative potential of body language, combined with science-based text, to bear witness to ecological collapse and to explore dichotomies between rational evidence and emotional response.
Martin employs archetypal figures and theatrical gestures to signal states of emotional trauma and physical distress. Partially legible diagrams and snippets of technical text, sourced from environmental, medical and data-based research, engulf figures and infuse Anthropocene landscapes with complex, confusing and incomplete information. Mythological nature deities struggle in ecosystems filled with the molecular notation of invisible toxins. Masked figures overwhelmed by the pandemic are trapped within webs of medical jargon and viral diagrams. Her work acknowledges the science behind, and the psychological consequences of, multiple ongoing environmental crises.
Martin's practice, rooted in drawing and developed in series, is informed by observational studies and topical research. She uses combinations of wet and dry media in muted color palettes to create layers of gestural and textural marks, erasures, opaque passages and translucent washes that expose her working process of obscuring and revealing elements of figuration and abstraction.
Previous series explored dynamics of intimacy, vulnerability, estrangement and aggression within interpersonal relationships.
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