Born in 1970, Martin Langford studied at Watford College of Art and Design and then at Plymouth University where he graduated in 1993 with a BA (Hons) Fine Art Degree specialising in printmaking. In 1995 he attained an advanced post-graduate certificate in printmaking (mezzotint/etching) from Central St. Martins College of Art and Design.
“I don’t talk a lot about my work as I put my efforts into communicating an image that doesn’t require an explanation – something that people can think about and relate to themselves without the artist trying to sell them the idea that the intended message is far greater than what they can realise for themselves.
I began mezzotint engraving as my tutor at Central St Martin’s College of Art, David Gluck dared me into a “try this for size” challenge. It is a technique that you can constantly learn from and develop. Although the preparation is laborious I enjoy the fact that a certain level of craftsmanship is required to achieve a good result even before the image is worked onto the copper plate. I also love the tonal variations and effects that can be achieved using this technique.
My work is about the environment, about pollution, the way we live and about man’s collective greed. I think people are tired of being lectured to about ‘green’ issues but they do still care – with a bit of humour, I believe you can relay a message simply and effectively, especially if you combine humour with quality artwork. My aim is to communicate my ideas to a wide range of people as possible – not just the elite, intellectual few. I see my work as being ‘semi-surreal’. I use mezzotint to effect, to create what has been described as black humour.
My work relates to the underdog – the guy in school music lessons who always got to play the triangle whilst others were beating a big drum!”