The life story of a Twickenham sculptor will be added to the British Library’s Artists’ Lives archives, joining renowned creative-types such as Sir Nicholas Serota and Philip King.
Barry Martin, of Cole Park Road, says the news the story of his artistic life, through the National Life Stories, will be shared with the world came out of the blue.
Mr Martin says: “I was taken by surprise initially. One knows about such things, but it seems on occasions, like many accolades in life, to be a million miles away and to do with other people.
“Then it happens to you - informed by letter or email these days, and on reading it the first time it seems a little surreal, as though there’s been a mistake and you haven’t read it properly. Naturally, you re-read it and the message sinks in slowly and you feel very honoured.”
The British Library is working on Mr Martin’s story after he was selected in June. Researchers will ask questions about his professional life, but also family life, which he says “will be a time to remember those pointers”.
Artists’ Lives was initiated in collaboration with the Tate Archive to enable British artists to create a record of their experiences in their own words, not just focussing on their artistic talents, but also their personal life and experiences that have formed them.
The first recordings were made in 1990 and Mr Martin, 69, will record his first session on January 7, 2013.
In the past 11 months he has been working on a series of wall reliefs that use metal, canvas, oil paint and acrylic - including a triptych he started in 1996 and could not resolve it compositionally until this year.
He says: “It is quite spiritual for me and I would hope others who see it might experience a similar feeling. The run of works in this series is continuing and seems very rich in direction and statement.”