The late Gordon Mart was a multi-talented man. Along with skills in design, tool-making and woodworking, he was an accomplished artist and a Fellow of the Royal South Australian Society of Arts. His skills as a maker of fine easels was regularly in demand by fellow members of the Royal Society.
Following his death (at the age of 96) in July last year, Gordon’s family must now part with his extensive collection – hence this exhibition of but a small proportion of his work.
As a young man, just few years after starting work, he enrolled in drawing classes, which he continued throughout the years of World War II. A little later, as a recipient of the John Christie Wright Prize for Life Drawing, he was able to continue classes and the discipline of drawing from the figure became central to his artistic development.
A growing family resulted in somewhat of a hiatus in his art studies until the early 1970s. This time he turned to sketching and outdoor painting. He also developed considerable skills as a portrait painter.
However, it is his landscapes, beautifully executed in oils, that feature in Gordon Mart’s Adelaide. His rendition of skies, clouds and reflection was masterful.
The exhibition shows more than forty of his paintings, dating from the early 1980s, portraying some of his favourite subjects, including Port Adelaide, the South Australian coast and the Adelaide Hills.
He believed in the importance of structure in painting, underpinned by sound drawing. A delightful display of just a tiny proportion of his sketchbook collection is evidence of his dedication to this pursuit.
This exhibition marks a small departure from our normal routine: it’s a ‘cash and carry’ (or if you prefer a ‘credit and carry’) arrangement. You can take your purchase with you and hang it straight away!
If you choose to visit Gordon Mart’s Adelaide over the next couple of weekends, you’ll have the opportunity to speak with Gordon’s daughter and son-in-law to gain an insight into this most interesting man.
Gordon Mart’s Adelaide is open at Mrs Harris’ Shop on Saturdays and Sundays 11am – 3pm until Sunday 5 February.