With 28 solo exhibitions in Canada and participation in over 100 group shows internationally, Judy Martin is an advocate for the power and beauty of hand stitch. A passionate student of fine art and world textiles for her entire life, Judy holds two BFA degrees, the most recent received 2012 from Middlesex University (UK) specializing in Embroidered Textiles. Judy Martin was born in 1951 and grew up on a farm near Fort Frances. She still lives in northern Ontario, having moved to Manitoulin Island in 1993. She writes about solitude and slow making in her popular blog, (Judy’s Journal).
Martin’s work is grounded in the phenomenological idea that the sense of touch is the most effective way to make an emotional connection with others and her surfaces are covered with hand stitching. The tactile repetitions of her hands’ caressing, the strength and weight of miles of thread and the amount of time it takes to make the stitches are path ways that accumulate, encouraging communication with our inner world.
Her hand stitched art is featured in the book Slow Stitch: Mindful and Contemplative Textile Art (2015) by Claire Wellesley Smith and also in Art Quilts International: Abstract and Geometric (2016) by Martha Sielman. Other achievements include her leadership of the Manitoulin Circle Project that involved over 140 participants who met weekly for four years (2009-2013) to make four large hand stitched meditation panels for public display, two awards in Surface Design at the prestigious exhibition Quilt National 2017, and a solo exhibition of large hand stitched quilt-drawings at the David Kaye Gallery in 2017 entitled The Cloud In Me.