About

Introduction

A Woman of Celtic Heritage in Australia

marta-lett
I am a woman of Celtic heritage born and raised in Australia. I am a daughter, mother and grandmother. My creative drive and personal strength is drawn from the women past and present in my family. I am an artist, designer and tutor working in hand crafted lettering design, Celtic art, drawing, painting and mixed media works on paper, canvas and glassware. I am also experimenting with printmaking, pyrography, engraving & decorating gourds.

Creative Upbringing and Influences

Growing up Australian in the 70’s meant that identity was all about sporting prowess, of which I could not relate to. I grew up surrounded by creative pursuits, from 18th century paintings in tempera by my predecessors to the highly skilled fibre work & sketches of my mother & grandmother. They encouraged me to make and create through exploration of materials and skills they taught me. My mother opened my eyes to calligraphy and Celtic art with her stories about *The Book of Kells and the facsimile held in the Mitchell Library, where she worked as a young woman in Sydney.

Exploring Materials & Techniques

Through studying calligraphy I discovered the beauty of working with watercolour gouache and pigment inks on rag papers, parchments and **vellum. I enjoy layering acrylic backgrounds with lettering and design overlaid in watercolour gouache and highlights of raised gold. The tools I favour are very fine pointed brushes and calligraphy pens with square-cut or pointed nibs.

Celtic Art Inspired by the Australian Landscape

I have developed a form of Celtic art that celebrates my identity & connection to the Australian Landscape where I intertwine Australian plants and animals with Celtic knots and spirals. I use calligraphy to convey a direct meaning or add a necessary element of completion to the artwork. My artworks are inspired by my experience of place, of connection to place and my shared responsibility to care for Mother Earth. The continuous interconnecting pathways in Celtic design are symbolic of our human interconnectedness with nature and our vital need to care for the Earth that sustains us.

A Dedicated Path to Artistic Study

For those of you who need to know my study path, here it is. At 17yrs of age I studied fundamental drawing at Julian Ashton Art School, The Rocks, Sydney. In following years I did many art courses looking for my niche. I worked in graphic arts for some years, learning computer graphics on the job as the industry transitioned. I studied calligraphy and associated arts for 9 years with Coffs Calligraphers and The Australian Society of Calligraphers, completing a Cert.IV in Calligraphy, followed by a Cert.IV in Teaching Calligraphy. These organisations mentored me in teaching and practicing calligraphy to a high professional standard.
*The Book of Kells is an ancient Celtic Christian manuscript, unfinished, of the four gospels Matthew, Mark, Luke & John, produced around the year AD800. Centuries later it was found buried in Kells, Ireland, and thought to have been hand lettered and decorated in the scriptorium at Lindisfarne.
** Manuscripts of the past two millenia were usually hand lettered and decorated on pages made from fine quality animal skins. Parchments were made from goat or sheepskins, while the higher valued vellum was made from calf skins. The most highly prized writing surface, slunk vellum, was made from the skin of a stillborn calf, being very fine grained, soft and translucent

Exploring Marta's Art

Marta shares her inspiration for her contemporary art, which draws on ancient art practices such as calligraphy, illumination, gilding and Celtic art.

Past Exhibitions

Solo Exhibitions

2016

Pop-up Exhibition, Re:Publik Cafe, Ettalong, NSW
2014

Celtic Art & Calligraphy, Gnostic Mana Café, Woy Woy NSW
2011

Interlacing Heritage, Steplight, St Leonards NSW
2008

The Workshop, Katoomba NSW
2007

Mementos Café, Blackheath NSW
2005

Newman-White Gallery, Lithgow NSW
2001

Celtic Art & Calligraphy, The Old Lodge Gallery, Gladstone NSW

Collaborative Exhibition

2017

Night's Watch Parliament, Bringing birds of the night into the light., The Art House, Wyong NSW
2013

The Nature of Australia by 2, Zigi’s, Chippendale
2006

Creativity x 3, Braemar Gallery, Springwood NSW
2002

Creativity by Three, Netherby House, Kempsey

Group Exhibitions

2020

Feb-March

Nature & Us, GIGS Gallery, Gateway Village, Wodonga Victoria
2014

November

Westfield Pop Up Gallery, Tuggerah NSW
2014

June

Choose Yourself, The Entrance Gallery, The Entrance NSW
1

1996 to 2014

The Workshop, Katoomba NSW

2

1998 to 2013

Australian Society of Calligraphers, biennial exhibitions in Sydney

3

2004 to 2007

Newman-White Gallery, Lithgow NSW

4

2005 to 2007

Autumn Artfest, Winmalee High School, Winmalee NSW

2006

Feb-March

From the Rainforest to the Sea, Gold Coast Calligraphy Society
1

1992 to 2004

Coffs Calligrapher’s annual exhibition, Coffs Harbour Botanical Gardens, Coffs Harbour NSW

2004

Stanthorpe Arts Festival, Stanthorpe QLD
2003

Celtic Art & Calligraphy, Mater Hospital Mercy Hospice, Newcastle NSW
2001

An Exhibition of Celtic Art & Craft, Celtic Studies Centre, Mosman Art Gallery, Mosman NSW
2000

An Exhibition of Celtic Art & Craft, Celtic Studies Centre, Seymour Centre University of Sydney, Sydney NSW
2000

Celtic Calligraphy Competition, The Australian Celtic Festival, Glenn Innes NSW
1

1998 to 2000

Calligraphy Southscribes exhibitions, Gymea NSW

2

1994 to 2000

Annual Southern Cross Arts & Crafts Festival, Ballina NSW

3

1992 to 1997

Woolgoolga Art Group annual Art & Craft Exhibition, Woolgoolga NSW

Achievements

2021

Invited to tutor an online art workshop for Albury-Wodonga Upstream Festival in The Market of Curious Things workshop event on 6 March. I delivered a workshop on Illuminated Letters which was very well received by the community and organisers.
2020

I was invited and entered ‘Bashkriti’ an online international calligraphy exhibition in India. As part of the exhibition I was a speaker in their 4 day virtual conference on education, art and calligraphy.
1998

to current - I have curated solo & group exhibitions in collaboration with galleries, fellow artists and community art groups. My curatorial work is professional and efficient to the appreciation of both artists and supporting organisations alike.
1992

to current – I have successfully designed and delivered courses and workshops for That Little Place Art & Craft Centre in Wodonga, Macquarie Community College, Coffs Calligraphers club, the Australian Society of Calligraphers, Adult & Community Colleges throughout NSW, Camp Creative in Bellingen, and for my own arts business. Topics covered include: traditional and contemporary calligraphy hands, Illuminated letters and decoration, Celtic art, colour principles, bookbinding, paper making, watercolours, and glass painting.
1

1992 to 2007

I have been awarded many prizes in competitive exhibitions (as above), including 1st, 2nd, highly commended and people’s choice awards.

Publications

1

2016

Featured artist online at Artsy Shark http://bit.ly/1O2wcPl.

2

1997 to 2014

Colophon, member magazine of the Australian Society of Calligraphers, regular contributions to articles, and cover artworks.

3

2008 to 2011

http://www.thenookleura.com.au/about/, The NOOK Craft Cooperative Leura NSW, listed as exhibiting member.

4

2010

WordsWork, Calligraphy and Lettering Art of Australia and New Zealand

1

2009 to 2010

pub. Australian Society of Calligraphers, I am one of 72 current day artists showcasing their work.

2

1997 to 2005

Kalligraphia, member magazine of Coffs Calligraphers club, regular contributions to articles and cover artworks.

3

1993 to 2003

The Coffs Harbour Advocate newspaper, regular articles about exhibitions, courses and workshops I presented.

4

2000

Handmade in the Nambucca, a directory of artists, craftspeople, growers and fine cuisine in the Nambucca Valley NSW.

Collections

Private collections in Australia, Germany, France, United Kingdom, Scotland, Japan & the U.S.

Galleries

Commercial Galleries

1

2020 to current

Myrtleford Gallery, Myrtleford Victoria 2016 to 2018 - Finite Gallery, Caves Beach NSW

2

2016

Rose's Gallery Cafe, Newcastle NSW

3

2014 to 2018

Timeless Textiles, Newcastle NSW

4

2013 to 2014

Class Art Gallery, 139 Elizabeth St Sydney

1

2008 to 2011

Aldgate Gallery, Little Hartley NSW

2

2007

The Workshop, Katoomba

3

2004 to 2006

Newman-White Gallery, Lithgow NSW

4

1998 to 2002

The Paperbark Gallery, Evans Head NSW

5

2002

Raglan Gallery, Manly NSW

Community Art Group Galleries

1

2021

Bright Art Gallery & Cultural Centre, 28 Mountbatten Avenue, Bright, Victoria 2018 to current - GIGS Gallery, Gateway Village, Wodonga Victoria

2

2018 - 2020

Yack Art Gallery, Yackandandah Victoria.

3

2006 - 20211

The NOOK Craft Cooperative, Leura NSW.

4

1996 to 2004

Valley Community Arts, Nambucca Heads NSW

Membership

1

1997 to current

The Australian Society of Calligraphers (ASoC)

2

2020 to current

Mayday Hills Art Society, Beechworth Victoria

3

2019 to current

Community Garden, Tangambalanga, Victoria.

4

2018 to current

GIGS Gallery, Gateway Village, Wodonga Victoria

5

2014 to current

Life member, Kariong Eco Garden (KEG)

1

2013 to 2017

Committee member, The Australian Society of Calligraphers

2

2014 to 2017

Committee member, Kariong Eco Garden

3

2014 to 2016

Board member, The Central Coast Collective Inc. (TheCC)

4

2014 to 2016

National Association for Visual Artists (NAVA)

5

1993 to 2000

The Coffs Calligraphers Club

Past Exhibitions