Until the 9th October Martin Laird is showing a collection of his darkly humorous cartoons and prints, “Wrong On Every Level”, in Northlight Gallery, Stromness
Local knowledge of Orcadian history and culture is helpful to appreciate them, although newcomers have been laughing out loud in the gallery since the show opened on Friday.
Martin left Orkney to study at Gray’s School of Art and has a degree in Fine Art, Drawing and Painting as well as another in Architecture. He returned to Orkney when his father, Keith (who many will remember as the Head of Art at KGS), passed away in 2003. After a while, Martin found his way of expressing himself through these challenging, usually political, cartoons. Working in a creative partnership with Fiona Grahame, Martin’s cartoons and photographs accompany monthly columns in iScot Magazine. He told me that he often takes the subjects and twists them to show the dark side but also reminded me that some, like the one about Happy Valley, are just funny.
It was Fiona who prompted a new direction into animation: together they created “A Gude Cause maks a Strong Erm” about the Orcadian women suffragists. They are currently working on a new project about the sinking of the HMS Pheasant in 1917. Work from this will be on show in Northlight on St Andrew’s Fair Saturday on 30th November.
Martin’s award winning animation A Gude Cause Maks A Strong Erm can be viewed here and on YouTube: