Focus On… Martin Smith


Huddersfield based, Martin Smith, describes himself as, “an Artist who makes things that are usually kinetic but not always moving.” The movement element is important to Martin as it allows him an additional dimension to play with in the creation of his work. And his art work is that, playful, and humorous but also beautiful and sometimes a little dark.

The themes he is currently exploring include love, celebration and money. Just recently he set out to prove that there is in fact a magical money tree and it is currently taking shape in his studio. Martin said he likes the idea of art being something which politicians say are impossible. There is this element of sarcasm in some of Martin’s other work too. He has created an applause machine, which delivers a round of applause at the touch of button and is already working on another version of this that is capable of of a spectrum of applause, from a slow-clap to a rowdy ovation.

Martin Smith - Applause Machine

Martin Smith – Applause Machine

Martin describes his studio in Huddersfield as a refuge from the outside world. Here he is surrounded by items that inspire him from Oxo Cube tins to jelly moulds, metal robots to Princess Leia masks. Its a colourful and happy looking space but is also well organised, allowing Martin to be efficient with his time. He works to quite a strict timetable, Monday is his day for making, Tuesday to Thursday he works on commissions and Friday is what he calls his ‘play-day’. He explains that projects often take twelve to eighteen months so it is important to allow some time to experiment too.

Martin Smith - Studio

Martin Smith – Studio

We asked Martin if he thought we were losing our practical skills or if he was hopeful for the future of making. His response was, “I’m always hopeful for the future and I think people will always want to make things with their hands and use tangible objects.”