Martin Rowney is a Canberra based sculptor whose sculptural practice explores concepts of history, archaeology and place identity. His sculpture explores the idea that we all have an individual history and that we all leave our own distinctive cultural imprint on the landscape.

His recent works reference the idea of archaeological stratigraphy by creating cores and columns of simulated strata containing soil and sands, archaeological artefacts and everyday objects. Through these sculptures he seeks to connect the viewer with the idea of the individuality of their own history.

Martin’s sculptural practice looks at the nature of our cultural and material imprint on the landscape and how it becomes part of the archaeology of the future. Through a number of his previous works, he personalises the idea of the archaeological record for the viewer, drawing the public into considering their own contribution to history and archaeology; connecting them with the idea that they are contributors to the archaeological record.

Each core or column represents an imagined history and an archaeological record that could have been created through unknown historical events at the site of the installation. These works pay homage to the archaeological signature that is left on the landscape by our lives, our habits and our rituals.

Among Martin’s other works are those that extend the theme of exploring the idea of archaeology and place identity into an Australian context visually linking to elements of iconic vernacular buildings materials, like corrugated iron, and the iconic rural homestead.

He has exhibited in a range of public art exhibitions including the Sculpture by the Sea at Cottesloe, Sculpture in the Street in Downer ACT, Willoughby Sculpture Prize, North Sydney Art Prize, the University of Western Sydney Sculpture Prize and Exhibition and Bermagui’s Sculpture on the Edge, and at the ANCA Gallery in Dickson ACT.

Martin has a background as a professional archaeologist.


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