Malcolm Martin and Gaynor Dowling are collaborative wood artists, who have lived and worked together in Stroud, Gloucestershire, since 1997. Their different artistic backgrounds inform their uniquely fluid approach to wood, which is simultaneously sculpture and craft. Martin studied Fine Art before concentrating on sculpture and Dowling trained as a textile artist. Their practice originated in an attempt to create a sculptural equivalent of Giorgio Morandi’s still life paintings, which intrigue the pair with their spatially complex compositions.
Martin and Dowling’s sculptures are made with traditional hand-tool techniques. Meticulous and repeated carving, in a manner similar to drawing, results in the textured and patterned surfaces which celebrate their making-process. They explore dimensionality in their three-dimensional designs which often appear two-dimensional at first due to strong frontal images. They vary significantly in size, from the monumental to the miniature. Both artists are involved in every stage of the making and they work on different bodies of work concurrently.
Their series of monochrome and colour still life groupings has expanded to include a wider variety of forms, echoing the shapes of ceramic and glass vessels. Additionally, shapes are inspired by architecture, every-day objects such as furniture and tools, and the human body.
First exhibiting together in 2002, Malcolm Martin and Gaynor Dowling have since participated in numerous exhibitions, and their work is represented in many prestigious collections across the world, including the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Boston Museum of Fine Art, USA, Birmingham City Museum and Art Gallery and Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge.