Liljana Mead Martin is a visual artist working in sculpture and site specific choreographies that address the material histories and ecologies of digging, deep time and toxic habitats. Through these processes, Martin’s work taps into conceptions of place and how we may embody and respond to environmental change and dissonance.
Martin was born in Nova Scotia and grew up between Canada, the United States, Australia and Europe, moving within a transient family who were students of the 20th century Tibetan Buddhist teacher, Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche along with a diverse community of writers, artists and teachers whom he gathered. These nomadic traces in early life established an interest in questions pertaining to uprootedness, transience, intergenerational histories and embodied knowledge.
In recent sculptural processes Martin considers the reciprocal exchange between bodies, materials and environmental histories. Much of the material used in her practice is gathered, ground down and repurposed. In sculptures she creates stratified layers of crushed material to build up forms. The resulting effect is similar to geologic core samples. These works create an association between the human body and concepts of deep time, inhabiting intimate moments of self preservation, warnings of ruin and reflections on being. Her works tend to oscillate in the space between the real and surreal, injured and resilient, solid and ephemeral.
Martin’s work has been exhibited at The Klondike Institute for Arts and Culture (Dawson City YT), Artscape Gibraltar Point (Toronto Island ON) Dynamo Arts Association (Vancouver), Recess (NYC), CSA Space (Vancouver) and the Nanaimo Art Gallery (Vancouver Island).