David Martin (b.1975) is an artist living and working in Scotland.

Alongside his full-time artistic practice, he is also the founder and Creative Director of Hidden Door, an organisation set up to generate exciting events to showcase new up-and-coming arts talent in Scotland across different art forms, mainly through staging annual ‘underground’ multi-arts festivals in Edinburgh. He is also the Head of the Painting Course at Leith School of Art and currently sits on the council of Visual Arts Scotland.


“My practice is focused on creating images of the figure in ambiguous and uncertain spaces. By building a space around the figure from elements of often contradictory fragments of broken structures, urban wastelands and remote vistas and landscapes, I hope to create layered images with a sense of monumental but uncertain narrative.  By using mixed media and combinations of imagery I aim to explore the possibilities of the fragmenting, paradoxical image and how it impacts on a fundamental aspect of the experience of the painted image – how we relate to the human figure as an image-encounter.

This central theme of my work has grown out of a practice based on travel and exploration. Whether it be to the sacred sites of pilgrimage in Ethiopia or to the ends of the remotest roads in the North West Scottish Highlands, I have found that taking myself to these places that have a strong impact on me and forcing myself to draw has been essential in terms of developing ideas for what I want to paint about. Immersing myself in a place that I find incredible, observing how the people relate to their environment, and and finding myself ‘out of my depth’ in it has enabled me to begin to explore how I can use space and place, as well as a particular way of using mixed media materials, to paint the figure as a way of saying something about what we are and our place in a shifting, dynamic and challenging world.”

(David Martin 2014)