Martin Seeds

Born 1964 (Belfast, Northern Ireland)
Website martinseeds.com

   

Martin Seeds is an artist and educator from Northern Ireland. He is a trustee of Brighton Photo Fringe and co-founder of Niagara Falls Projects. Seeds currently lives and teaches in England.
In 2019 Seeds was nominated for the 2020 Deutsche Börse Photography Prize for his solo exhibition Violence Religion Injustice Death at Seen Fifteen gallery London. In 2018 he was awarded the Danny Wilson Memorial Award – Professionals choice for the best solo exhibition at Brighton Photo Fringe. In 2017 he was awarded a Magnum Graduate award for the body of work titled Assembly
Seeds’ artistic practice draws from his experience of growing up in Northern Ireland, which he left in the mid 1980s. Through an on-going reflection upon formative events and an engagement with current issues in the province, his work explores questions of identity, memory, conflict, and the symbolic landscape.

Publications

Photography books by

  • 2020 No Country For Young Men, Brighton: Self Published

Photography books with contribution by

  • 2021 Efrem Zelony-Mindell, Primal Sight, New York: Gnomic Book

Exhibitions

Solo exhibitions

  • 2019 – Violence Religion Injustice Death, Seen Fifteen, London, UK
  • 2018 – New Works, Niagara Falls Projects, Brighton, UK
  • 2015 – Alternative Ulster, PhotoMonth –  East London Photo Festival, London UK

Group exhibitions

  • 2020 Photo London Digital with Seen Fifteen, London, UK
  • 2020 Hurry Up Please Its Time, Seen Fifteen, London, UK
  • 2020 With Monochrome Eyes, Borough Road Gallery, London, UK
  • 2019  The BREXIT Shop, Format Festival. Derby, UK
  • 2018  Field/s 1, Sluice HQ, London UK
  • 2017  Triptych, Irish Culture Centre with Seen Fifteen, Paris, France
  • 2016  Assembly, The Regency Town House Brighton, UK
  • 2016  Assembly, University of Brighton Gallery, Brighton, UK
  • 2015  Alternative Ulster, Cork Photo Festival, Ireland.
  • 2014  Alternative Ulster / I have troubles[…], Brighton Photo Fringe, Bighton, UK
  • 2014  5 studies of Tim, Create Gallery, Brighton, UK
  • 2014  Residency exhibition, Woodstock, New York, USA
  • 2014  Birds Over Stormont publication, Tokyo Institute of Photography, Japan
  • 2012  Fresh Faced & Wild Eyed, The Photographers Gallery, London, UK

Projects

  • No Country For Young Men (2020)
    Appropriated from a Belfast School Year book circa 1965-66, the portraits in No Country For Young Men depict youths on the cusp of adulthood during a time of great upheaval in the province. “These found portraits, enlarged and indistinct, possess an added resonance. They are appropriated from a Belfast school yearbook from 1965, a year of violent tremors in Northern Ireland that, with hindsight, seem darkly prescient. History hangs over these young boys like a falling shadow. As they stare, unknowing, into the camera lens, trouble awaits them as surely as night follows day.” Sean O’Hagan
  • Disagreements (2019)
    This series began after the collapse of the Northern Ireland Assembly in late 2017.
    The work is a response to the Northern Ireland Assembly’s failure to negotiate the contrasting political viewpoints that have created a difficult and seemingly unresolvable political landscape. The works are made in the public grounds of the Stormont Estate, which surround the Parliament building.
  • Masks (2018)
    Masks is a response to the recent rise in dissident terrorist activity in Northern Ireland and considers a historical symbol of terrorism and aggression. This large series of silver gelatine contact prints have been made by placing the screen of an iPad, displaying an appropriated image, directly onto traditional darkroom paper. The resulting soft, yet disturbing images allude to the troubles of the past and stir ominous thoughts about the alarming escalation of paramilitary style ‘punishment’ shootings and beatings in the province..
  • Assembly (2016)
    Assembly is a body of work in six parts, that is set in the Stormont Estate, the home of the Northern Ireland Assembly. The work uses the power of photography to generate allegory – letting the plants, trees and foliage deliver a message from the grounds surrounding the Northern Ireland parliament building about the struggles embedded in a fragile political landscape. Assembly suggests the importance of the grounds as a common material space beyond culture in which difference and likeness are both articulated and intertwined in a natural world outside of the political chamber.

Works