Acme Studios — Martin Creed

Supporting Artists since 1972

Martin Creed

Fire Station Residency

Martin Creed is a British artist. His art takes many forms including performance, painting, print, installation, film, music and the spoken word. He came to prominence in 2001 when he won the Turner Prize with Work 227: The lights going on and off. This controversial work, now in the Tate’s permanent collection, involved the lights in an empty gallery being switched on and off at five second intervals. This work is typical of the playful and understated nature of Martin’s work. Through his performances he uses subtle interventions, such as changing lights, the ringing of bells, a choir singing, ballet dancers dancing or runners running, to highlight and reintroduce us to elements of the everyday.

Martin’s celebration of the ordinary is also seen in the use of commonplace materials in his other works. These include paper, cardboard, plastic bags, air, light, and text, as well as lego, balls, broccoli, bean bags and party balloons, which may be used alongside conventional art materials such as paint, ink and bronze. Repetition is important to Martin’s work, as he plays with variation and rhythm through repeated motifs and themes, often working in series. Martin’s works are identified and labelled by numbers, so each piece is given equal status, regardless of its size, or what it is made of.

In 2014 the Hayward Gallery, London, staged a major retrospective: What’s the Point of It?. In 2019 the Kistefos Museum, Jevnaker, Norway, presented the exhibition Inside Out which paired the work of Martin Creed with that of Howard Hodgkin.

Between 2012 and 2018 an Artist Rooms exhibition of Martin’s work toured venues across the UK including Tate Britain, London; Harris Museum and Art Gallery, Preston; Quay Arts, Isle of Wight; Ferens Art Gallery, Hull; and Tate Liverpool, Liverpool. Recent solo exhibitions include Centro Botín, Santander, Spain (2019); MARe Museum of Contemporary Art, Bucharest, Romania (2019); Museum Voorlinden, Wassenaar, Netherlands (2017); Qiao Space, Shanghai, China (2016) Kyoto City University Of Arts Art Gallery, Kyoto, Japan (2016); Phoenix Art Museum, Arizona, USA (2016); Kunsthalle Vogelmann\ Kunstverein Heilbronn, Heilbronn, Germany (2015); Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum, Connecticut, USA (2013); National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, Canada (2013); CAC Bukovje, Landskrona, Sweden (2012); Museo de Arte de Lima, Lima, Peru (2012) and Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, Chicago, USA (2012) amongst others.

Fire Station Residency 1997-2001

Acme's residency at the Fire Station is one of the most directly supportive schemes for artists in the United Kingdom, providing combined studio and living space at low rents, as well as a half rent residency for a deaf or disabled artist. This fixed-term residency scheme is intended to allow artists more time to concentrate on the development of their work and professional careers, and less time working to survive. 1997-2001 residents were selected by artists Tracy McKenna, Cornelia Parker, Adam Reynolds, and Acme co-founder Jonathan Harvey.