Martin Walch

Martin Walch was born in Hobart in 1964, and continues to live and work in Tasmania.

Martin was educated at the Tasmanian School of Art, University of Tasmania attaining a Bachelor of Fine Art with Honors in Photography in 1994. He also completed a Master of Fine Arts by Research, in Digital Stereoscopic Photography and Landscape, in 1998, and has completed a PhD at the Tasmanian School of Art in 2009, where he is also a part-time Lecturer and Course Coordinator of the Art and Natural Environment units. Martin was Artist-in-Residence with Copper Mines of Tasmania at Mount Lyell, Western Tasmania between 1998-2003. Awards and bursaries include: joint-winner Siglo magazine’s National Collaborations Prize for Writers and Photographers (with writer Lisa Morissett) 1997; New Media Fund Development Grant, Australia Council for the Arts 1999; Arts Tasmania artist grants 1997 and 2000. Martin has recently completed a three-year appointment to the Visual Arts/Craft Board of the Australia Council for the Arts.

Martin has participated in 18+ group exhibitions including: Photographica Australis Asia Tour, Naarden Photo Festival Nederlands, ARCO Madrid, 2002 Adelaide Biennial of Australian Art; Australian Centre for Photography, Sydney; SOFA, New York; ARTV, Australian Centre for the Moving Image.

Martin is represented in public and private collections including the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery and the Art Gallery of South Australia.

The central concern of the work Martin has produced over the past decade is a preoccupation with visual perception and so-called ‘objective’ systems of measurement. His work is about the inability of empirical systems to provide descriptions of reality that go beyond the logical and rational. Martin has pursued a process of investigation that focuses on visual descriptions of landscape as the subject – due to their accessibility as a common experiential space and because of their complex and culturally dependent definitions.

IXL Development Project - Phase 1

Current research into the theory of landscape representation has focused on redefining popular conceptions of Wilderness, and investigating the role of “Nature Porn” in the commodification of the natural environment in Tasmania.

Walch’s interest in the IXL site stems from a visit in 1990 when, as an undergraduate student he explored the derelict site for the first time. He was intrigued by a distant, but nonetheless personal sense of what Hunter Street was when he discovered that his great-great-grandfather, Thomas Mackrell, re-married in the Steam Packet Inn, which was on the site now occupied by one of the Art School Buildings, in the mid 1800s.

The stereo viewers presented within The Henry Jones Art Hotel contain images made recently in the IXL buildings immediately prior to the redevelopment into the Art Hotel. The suite of images captures the old IXL factory and warehouses in the moment before their final transformation, and will provide viewers with a direct and powerful insight into the history of the site.