Photo: Mary Ryan

Martina’s art takes many forms

APPROACHING the house in the countryside near Claregalway, I could hear the “ba-awk, ba-awk, ba-awk,” of satisfied hens who had just laid their eggs, the cock-a-doodle-doo of a rooster, and the warning bark of a dog telling Martina Passman that a stranger was on the way.

They were sounds that transported me back to my grandparents’ farm and the sheer happiness of long, happy summers, eggs being collected, being sent to pick apples in the orchard for that evening’s tart, blackberries being brought home for pies, and no worries other than wondering what would be for dinner.

So I was not surprised when those warm feelings stayed with me throughout my chat with Martina whose house is a thing of beauty with its colours, random pieces of art, happy animals, tomato vines in the conservatory, and a very interesting artist.

Martina is a mixed-media artist who was born Martina Naughton in Galway, studied Fine Art and Design in GMIT in 1997, then “I did the family thing.” She has two children, Sarah who is 22 and David, 15. Sarah is studying art in Limerick College of Art and Design while David is still in secondary school.

How did Martina come to be an artist?

“I figure I was born an artist. I’ve always loved art; it’s part of me. I studied it in school doing art in the Leaving Cert in 1982.”

After college Martina worked and travelled in the US and England before returning to college to finish the diploma begun in GMIT. She did her Master’s in 2019 in Creative Practice which she describes as “a dream come true to go back to college and continue my studies”.

Read the full feature in this week's edition of The Tuam Herald, on sale in shops and online