SIGUEL MARTIN

John Kinross Scholar in 2000

How did the experience affect you as an individual?
Visiting Florence influenced my growth both as an artist and a person. The opportunity to experience southern light and Italian lifestyle was exhilarating and gave me fresh perspectives much needed after intense final year at school.

On a more personal level I made some beautiful connections in Florence and it was truly uplifting to exchange experience with other artists focused on figurative painting. This resulted not only in developing further skills but also deepening understanding of the craft on a conceptual level.

What was the impact on your practice?
Plan was to collect references for future projects, I spent most of my time wandering through the city and observing life. I got used to spending most of my time in studio and going out, whether to a museum or plein air, was a stimulating change in my practice. This allowed me to employ more spontaneous approach and engage in local environment. It made me realise and comprehend things I have only red about before. It also directed my attention to some aspects I would not otherwise notice. I particularly become interested in the dialog between renaissance painters of quatrocento and northern art. The exchange of ideas between seemingly distant artists was fun to follow.

What would you say the long term impact has been on yourself and you work?
Visiting Florence significantly influenced my understanding of light. Painting is light and I have not truly realised that before.  I have been looking for something that would intensify my output, make it more ‘dramatic’. Flow of light and how it hits surfaces is definitely an instrument I am using more deliberately now.

Opportunity to spent almost every day among so many great pieces altered the way I look at paintings. I started appreciating artworks I do not necessarily enjoy looking at. Every painting has something to teach. I also no longer expect a painting to do something it was not designed for.