“My work is not for thinking about a specific environment, it’s about being witness to the emotive impact of nature’s balanced composition”.
Born and raised in Vancouver, Martha Sturdy has created her own unique style, which she describes as “clean, minimal, and earthy”, asserting that “modern design can be very unapproachable without an element of earthiness.”
In her second year of study at the Emily Carr University of Art + Design, Sturdy began to work with resin, now her signature material, and spent the next three decades perfecting her craft. Sturdy explores the contemporary and natural worlds simultaneously by paring down forms into bold and minimal designs whose scale replicate the spatial experience of the untouched outdoors. Swirling and subtle textures embedded in smooth resin soften the crisp lines of her sculpture, and add a layer of soft earthiness to Sturdy’s imposing sculptures.
Sturdy says of her work, “by paring down to the most animal of basic shapes I ask if we can truly intellectualize the profound simplicity of our natural environment.” Sturdy’s sculptures capture a mingled sense of awe through their large scale, strength in their graphic shapes, and approachable comfort in their inviting texture, culminating in an understated elegance.
In recent years, Martha Sturdy has received several honors: an Honorary Doctorate from Emily Carr University of Art + Design, an induction into the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts (RCA), and a Golden Jubilee Medal from the Governor General of Canada. Her design wearable sculpture work has been commissioned by private collections including Louis Vuitton, Marc Jacobs, Four Seasons, and Bergdorf Goodman. In 2010 Martha was commissioned for a permanent installation in the Vancouver Olympic village; followed in 2012 by a permanent installation in the heart of downtown Tokyo, Japan.