Working across a range of mediums—brass, metal, resin, wood—Martha Sturdy has a storied career in both design and fine art.
Sturdy is one of Canada’s best-known artists and designers and has been featured in publications such as Architectural Digest, Vogue, Dezeen, Elle Decor, and Wallpaper. The artist’s bold statement pieces have been a long-time favorite of Farmboy Fine Arts and Study’s latest collection, PRIME, which we viewed at the artist’s Vancouver studio, explores new and exciting territory.
The former jeweler (her work has been featured on the runway shows of designers such as Donna Karan and Marc Jacobs) today focuses primarily on her design and fine art work with collections that have landed her accolades at Maison et Objet in Paris and the Architectural Design Show in New York.
Her new body of work PRIME (which premiered at the 2018 Maison Objet) is comprised of both three-dimensional wall pieces as well as coffee tables, modular cubes, bowls, chairs and other art/objects, all made of resin. Inspired partially by Japanese design as well as simple functionality, items in the collection such as the movable cubes pull double-duty as both seating and sculpture.
For Sturdy, who is now in her mid-70s, PRIME represents a colorful departure from natural-based mediums (which are still part of the studio’s practice) of brass, steel, and charred cedar. Her solid brass sculptures fold and compress in large, monumental shapes and her charred cedar are deep-black stand-alone sculptures. PRIME is focused on creating variability, change, and customization—focusing on simple forms and utility. With clean and clear direction—the artist’s latest work marks a new chapter for the designer and artist.
All images courtesy of the artist.