We’re Inspired By… Martin Creed

martin creed smiling

I did art because I thought it had all the other things in it; it seemed like the field called art contained everything else. –  Martin Creed

An artist who has a lot of our respect is Martin Creed from Glasgow. In 2001 he worn the Turner Prize for his work ‘The lights going off and on’.

This, like a lot of his work involves switching between two opposed states.

A door opening and closing by itself is another, and his recent Work No.1686 is an entire car that suddenly comes to life: everything starts up, switches on and activates all at the same time – all the doors and boot fling open, the radio blares. It gives you a shock! Then 30 seconds later it abruptly stops, shuts and powers down.

What we like about these works is that the off is as important as the on. He shares our passion for blind portraits which are made without having sight of the canvas or paper. Here’s a couple of ours:

blind drawings

Another thing he does that really chimes with us is that he works serially and sequentially. Everyday objects such as tables, chairs and plants and boxes are organised into ascending or descending order of size.

The main reason we love him though, is that there’s  lightness, warmth and above all fun in Martin Creed’s work.

He finds joy in the creative process, as witnessed with his ‘Jumping up paintings’ where the canvas is so high up he has to jump to apply the paint.

His ability to find the sublime in the ridiculous, seen in the broccoli prints used in his ‘Work No. 1000’. This one is really inspiring our wallpaper designs.


I don’t this I make what is called ‘conceptual art’… I don’t believe in conceptual art. I don’t think it is possible to separate ideas from feelings… anyway it feels like everything has a lot more to do with feelings than with anything else. Ideas: maybe ideas are a way to handle feeling, to keep them down or sort them out. – Martin Creed

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This blog is part of a series about artists who inspire, including Cornelia Parker, Gehard Richter and Wassily Kandinsky. Which artists inspire you? We would love to hear about them.

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