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Martin Bentham RWA - 8th October to 6th November 2011
Martin Bentham was born in Aldershot in 1961, the son of an architect. Martin studied at Exeter College of Art & Design and gained a fine art degree, inspired by Clifford Fishwick, Mike Gorman, Nick Gray and Mike Garton.

Martin Bentham: Honeysuckle September 2010

Bentham’s tutors noted his ability with illustration which developed into “an affectionately-observed rural realism that balances his compositional structure.” Works like “Winter Rain, Ridge Farm” and “Farmers Market, Wells” with architectural, figurative, pastoral and still-life imagery also tell an anecdotal story of everyday life.

Martin Bentham: Marsh Orchids June 2009

Martin Bentham: Walnuts on Slate II

Bentham has held successful biennial one man shows since 1993 and has exhibited at a number of notable exhibitions including the Royal Academy and the Royal West of England Academy.

Martin Bentham: Hawthorns February 2011

Martin was awarded the Daler-Rowney Oil Painting Prize in 2007 at the RWA Autumn Exhibition and won the Viewer's Choice Award at the 2008 Exhibition.

Martin Bentham was elected an Academician of the RWA in January 2009.

Martin Bentham: Beech Trees and
Hawthorns 2011

Martin lives and works in the beautiful Mendips and these surroundings have inspired much of his pastoral work which he often paints in situ.

Martin Bentham: Foxgloves, Blackdown

Martin Bentham: Minery Hawthorns
March 2011

This exciting celebration of paint and mark making is the essence of Martin’s new and invigorated practice. He quotes Lucien Freud ‘the picture in order to move us must never merely remind us of life but must acquire a life of its own’.

Martin Bentham: Seashells 2006

Martin Bentham: Studio with Mirror 2011

Martin Bentham: Dog Rose Study

Martin Bentham: Cheddar Pink 2009

Martin Bentham: March Orchids June 2009

Other pieces are like ‘time capsules’ portraying the every day life of a rural community such as busy market stalls or meat preparation in the butchers shop, both of which are being threatened by the ever encroaching presence of the supermarket.

Martin Bentham: Self Portrait, Mirror

Martin Bentham: Orchids and Daisies 2011

Martin Bentham: Winter Rain, Ridge Farm

Martin Bentham: Bluebells 2009

Martin Bentham: Early Autumn 2010

Martin Bentham: Mendip Hawthorns
June 2011

Now in his 50th year Martin is moving away from realism, recognising that in a world constantly bombarded with ‘real’ images, painting must present an alternative way of seeing and it is the paint itself, the surface, which has its own voice.

Martin Bentham: Farmers Market, Wells

Martin Bentham: Blagdon Woods
May 2009

This exceptional exhibition is being held in the newly acquired and refurbished gallery on the Strand in Topsham.

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THE ART ROOM TOPSHAM is open 11am to 5pm on Saturday, Sunday and Wednesday.