Review: Sam Marsh & Martin Heron - Spot and Stripe @ Line Gallery by Leah Grant

Currently on display at Stroud’s Line Gallery are the works of Martin Heron and Sam Marsh. This joint offering focuses primarily on pattern within a fine art context and in both cases the artists have utilised the very act of pattern-making to create work that challenges the viewer on multiple levels.

Martin Heron: Loitering with Intent, Arrangement and the Choicest Cut

Through the use of painted galvanised steel, Heron constructs forms that could be considered confrontational in nature. The pieces on display at Line Gallery, including Loitering with Intent, Arrangement and The Choicest Cut (a form dripping with red paint, reminiscent of a piece of bloody meat) are, by virtue of their material, unequivocally solid. Against the gallery’s white walls, their vivid colours cement their permanence, their twisted forms highlighting, perhaps, that toughness does not preclude manipulation.

Sam Marsh: Circle Blue Sky and Diamond

Marsh’s painted canvases aren't just striking in appearance, their bright often clashing colours and fractured patterns draw the eye to something that is vaguely familiar; and yet, as we take in the carefully constructed cubes and frenzied spirals of paint, pinpointing that familiarity becomes difficult. More important than finding a recognisable image within these painted ‘collages’is the process that’s involved in creating them. Quickly we find ourselves marvelling at the way shapes are abruptly halted in their path, at the way new colours, new patterns, are revealed beneath the artist’s swirling marks. Marsh’s use of shape extends as far as the surface on which he creates these pieces – on display at Line Gallery, circular and diamond shaped canvases assure that these works have a carefully crafted sense of completeness, reaffirming the unconventional nature of Marsh’s work.

Spot and Stripe is an exhibition that expertly straddles the fine line between public accessibility and creative innovation whilst highlighting the originality and uniqueness of two exceptional artists.

The exhibition runs until this Saturday 14th May, visit for further info!

Leah Grant is a writer and photographer with a keen interest in art and literature. On her blog, Bellyful of Art, you can find reviews of exhibitions, installations, dance performances and literary events as well as her own lovingly created pieces of short fiction