Art and design go hand in hand influencing Alastair Martin’s work. Exploring this relationship, the Canadian wants to show how materials and shapes relate to one another, and how this connection affects our approach to the objects through our bodies. Teaming up in this occasion with stylist Chad Burton and photographer Blaise Misiek, his work has been translated from the gallery context into an urban environment, showing a ccompletely different perspective. That's what makes collaborations magical.
How would you define your work? 
I’m interested in art and design equally. In both cases, I’m drawn to how materials and forms relate to one another, and how we in turn relate to objects through our bodies. With my new work, I feel like I’m walking a line between design and art. I’m still figuring it out. My older work was very black and white; it was either furniture, or art, never both. Studying Fine Art has really influenced the merging of the two.
Your creations reflect the result of combining a futuristic conception and the traditional design with natural elements such as wood. Would you say your creative process is determined by the Canadian culture?
I think so. It’s certainly a direct result of my personal experiences in Canada. Most of my childhood was spent in a small rural town. I grew up building functional things out of wood in my father’s workshop. After I studied Furniture Design, I started working for a company in Toronto that fabricates architectural features. I found myself exposed to cutting-edge manufacturing processes and new materials, both of which are a large part of my design and sculptural work now.
Tell us about the collaboration. Where did the idea come from?
Chad Burton approached me after seeing some of my work. I was collaborating with Toronto fashion designer Tala Kamea to design a booth for one of her shows, and Chad noticed my work and got in touch. Chad and Blaise Misiek, our photographer, had this vision of how they were going to arrange and shoot my work outdoors. They’re both really talented and it’s been a humbling and enlightening experience working with them. They took my work out of the context of the gallery space and into the urban environment and reconfigured it, combining it in ways I hadn’t considered before. It allowed me to see my work from a completely different perspective. What you’re seeing in these photos is something totally new and a direct result of creative collaboration from several different fields.
What's your opinion on how interior design should be like? And what's its purpose, besides being functional?
That’s a question I think should be at the root of all design. I remember this quote from a book by Alain de Botton, “What we seek, at the deepest level, is inwardly to resemble, rather than physically to possess, the objects and places that touch us through their beauty.” I think about that concept a lot, because I believe we all have thoughts about ideal ways of life, and that any design, whether it’s architecture, furniture, or interior design, can influence us to manifest those ideals within ourselves.
Not only design but also art is present in the work you develop. Do you use the same sources of inspiration for both of them? Are they apart from each other or can be seen as one?
A lot of my recent sculptural work is directly inspired by the manufacturing processes behind furniture and architecture. Likewise, forms and materials in my sculpture inspire a lot of my recent design work. I’m really excited when one influences the other. Personally, I’m not sure it’s important for me to separate them. Figuring out what unites them is interesting to me. Much of my sculptural work seems to border on interior design or furniture. I’m interested in that in-between space. I think the work of artists and designers like Scott Burton, Donald Judd and Ettore Sottsass has really helped lay the foundation for me to explore the relationship between art and design.
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