Martin Field was born in Wegberg, Germany, in 1981. He graduated from the BA Fine Art Sculpture course at Norwich School of Art & Design in 2003. He lives and works in Norwich.
Amiguase consists of a number of different elements combined to create a sprawling scene. Clay, oak panels, corrugated roofing and other materials are assembled into something new and unexpected. A large oak panel supported by wooden legs rests against the edge of one of the gallery's beams. Its surface is pockmarked with hundreds of small divots. Raised planes are connected to the legs and covered with tiles or drawings on paper. A large mass of clay stands on wooden blocks and has been cleaved in such a way that one of the canopies projects into it. Most of the surfaces have been affected in some way; the oak has been gouged, wood has been feathered with an axe, the reclaimed tiles are covered with moss and the paper has been drawn on. Although using low-tech materials the craftsmanship is complex.
A discussion between Kaavous Clayton and Martin Field at outpost on 30 December 2004.
Kaavous Clayton: What informs your work?
Martin Field: Nothing in particular but kind of everything. What exactly do you mean by inform?
KC: What inspires you to make the work you make?
MF: Outside things don't really inspire me, like a tree. I suppose it's just me and the way I'm feeling. Most work that I make, and probably work that most people make, is autobiographical.
KC: Each person is their own point of reference and everybody is the centre of their universe, but we are all influenced by the world around us.
MF: That's why I said everything but nothing. I'm not concentrating on one kind of idea. I can't categorise my inspirations, they're all quite random and I find it interesting trying to combine these elements.
KC: The piece you're making for outpost, is it growing organically or is it pre-considered?
MF: It has pre-considered elements, or starting points. I just kind of use them to get it to make itself. You have to fiddle around with it for a while until you find out what you're making.
KC: So do you see it as an installation?
MF: Yes. I see most things as installations.
KC: Most things in the world or most things you make?
MF: Most things everyone makes, whether they mean to or not.
KC: You use a lot of pre-made elements. Once you combine them to create an installation do you still think of them as individual components or do they become part of a whole?
MF: I treat things as found objects even if I've made them myself. I don't think things lose their identity but it's nice to get rid of some of their immediate associations.
KC: So by changing a found object's context you redefine that object.
MF: Yes, you do redefine it, but you also highlight its original or natural beauty as well as its potential beauty.
KC: So by combining these objects that aren't necessarily beautiful on their own you hope to create a scene that is beautiful.
MF: I don't really like the word 'scene'.
KC: What word would be more appropriate?
KC: In the installation at outpost, a lot of it seems to reference shelter and ideas about shelter.
MF: I think they do. I wasn't really thinking about that, but I think that's the autobiographical aspect. There are lots of bits in there and some of them are quite obvious and some are not. It doesn't need to reference or explain anything but maybe it's nice if it does.
KC: Are there any artists that influence you?
MF: I haven't been looking at artists recently, apart from a guy called Ton Slits. He makes really nice little paper slight relief assemblage type things. I don't really like looking at other artists because they're either not very interesting or frustrating because they've made something you wanted to make, or possibly would have made but now can't because somebody else has done it. It's almost better to be ignorant of other artists because it means you make what you want to make.
KC: That sounds like a good recommendation to all other artists not to come and see your show.