I was born and raised in Preston, Lancashire, within a loving family in the North West of England. As was the custom back then (the 1960’s) I also relished a degree of independence to roam and explore my home town with a level of unfettered freedom that is (unfortunately) unimaginable to the children of today… and explore I did, at every opportunity. So perhaps it wasn't so surprising that at the age of 21 I left my home town on a bicycle and embarked on a journey that continues to this day.
Travel and adventure proved sufficient motivation to keep me captivated for many years, traversing the globe twice and basking in the sheer magnificence, diversity and stunning beauty of our gorgeous planet.
But eventually mere observation just wasn't enough, it was time to create!
Wherever my travels took me I always sketched and photographed my surroundings and in actual fact I have always sculpted and re-arranged my environment in one way or another, but it took a chance encounter in the beautiful Georgian city of Bath, in the southwest of England, as the last century was drawing to a close, for me realize my true passion lay in carving stone.
On graduating from The City Bath College with NVQ Level 2 qualifications I worked as a Banker Mason in the surrounding villages from 2000 to 2003, learning to carve architectural stonework fast and accurately by working alongside men who served as the latest generation in a traditional industry stretching back in an unbroken line almost a thousand years.
For the past decade I have my made my home in Woody Creek, 8 miles north of Aspen, Colorado, at around 7,600 feet in the Rocky Mountains where I enjoy the stunning natural beauty of the Roaring Fork Valley with Kris, my wife, and our tall ski-mad son Joseph.
My workshop-studio sits just yards from the log cabin wherein I write this and it is there that I have made the crucial transition from banker mason to sculptor.
These days I have the good fortune to live just 32 miles (as the crow flies) from the quarry producing the finest white marble in the United States – the same marble used to build the Lincoln Memorial, the Washington Monument and a great many of the nation’s most prestigious and important architectural landmarks.
Ready access to such magnificent marble allows me to explore the wealth of possibilities presented to contemporary sculptors of today. Utilizing the advances made in diamond blade and abrasive pad technology in recent years I lean heavily on my experience as a banker mason, as well as global traveler, to create work that I feel is relevant, original and innovative in its design and execution.
‘Curvilinear Reductionist’ is the term I have coined for my signature marble sculpture, and while I still hold a great deal of affection for the more traditional limestone carvings you will find on display here at martincooney.com it is the pursuit of curvilinear perfection that has captured my imagination and propels me ever onward, to the point that I aim to devote the rest of my life creating marble sculpture that is light, airy, aesthetically intriguing and entirely radical in nature.
The next phase in the journey will take me to Italy for the months of April, May and June, 2014, in order to apply my curvilinear reductionist techniques to the world famous Carrera marble. After which I will be back to my old ways and traversing the globe once more, but this time around I'll not only be taking in the splendors of our wonderful planet but transforming all the marble I can find into the sleek and sensuous carvings that are the hallmark of my sculpture.