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martin wenham exhibition
Martin Wenham | Look, That You May Hear Me
Goldmark is delighted to announce an exhibition of 50 new works from Martin Wenham, the world master of letter carving, at the gallery for four weeks from 19 March. The exhibition, called Look, That You May Hear Me, will be accompanied by a 64 page full colour catalogue with essay by Martin Wenham. There will be a walkthrough film of the exhibition available on goldmarkart.com and goldmark.tv 24/7 from 18 March and the exhibition coincides with the publication of Wenham’s seminal book The Art of Letter Carving in Wood published by Crowood at £25.

Martin Wenham started with pen lettering as a child, inspired by his father who hand-wrote posters for 'DIG FOR VICTORY' after the war, when things were still on ration and food was short. He credits Edward Johnston's classic book, Writing & Illuminating & Lettering, for part of his lettering education. Wenham began his carving career in 1967 after being asked by a colleague at the research station where he was working to carve a house sign. A professional carver who worked there and who'd been made redundant from the furniture trade kindly showed him the basics and it all developed from there.

These days my main focus is on the exploration of visual language: how meaning can be amplified and communicated through the visual form of what is read. The design and execution of the lettering, rather than an end in itself, is the means by which this exploration is pursued. What is perhaps rather unusual in my work is the extent to which the visual and tactile properties of the wood I work with contribute to, and even determine, the language I carve and the way I design the inscription. I particularly like working with wood whose history can be read, at least in part, such as offcuts, scrap and driftwood. What I am then doing is just adding another chapter to the ongoing history of the workpiece

Mike Goldmark, who founded Goldmark Gallery nearly 50 years ago, adds, As he approaches his 80th year this is Martin’s most accomplished show yet. Not content to take the easy path, Martin Wenham conjures beauty best when choosing to cut into the curve and grain of found wood or a piece of tree trunk. I believe he is the finest letter cutter in the world, the range and variety extraordinary. Look That You May Hear Me will be an uplifting demonstration of Martin’s unmatched skill.
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