Martin was born into a lineage of artists and educators, a family tradition he is proud to carry forth. His art spans a wide range of media including painting, sculpture, theater design and site-specific installation. His spiritual path, as an Animist, is a primary influence in his art that celebrates the sacredness inherent in nature, the consciousness in all life and the power of place. It also challenges the cultural paradigms that dictate the way we relate to both the natural world as well as to our sisters and brothers. His work as an educator and Permaculture Designer are additional manifestations of the values to which his work speaks. Through his art Martin strives to inspire and cultivate a greater sense of mystery and possibility in our experience of the world.
Martin’s homestead in the hills of Western Mass is an evolving opus designed to serve as a living medium and teaching tool, a model of eco-spiritual philosophy united with sustainable design strategies. He holds a Design Certificate from Geoff Lawton’s Permaculture Research Institute and currently working towards an Advanced Diploma with P.R.I. under the mentorship Delvin Solkinson and is proud to be a part of supporting the Gaiacraft Permaculture movement.
From the very beginning of my life Art has been one of the most central and important aspects of my being. As my twin brother Carl and I were raised by an artist and teacher, George Leighton Bridge III, we were exposed to a wide range of media with which to explore and create. Museums and Galleries were always frequent family destinations. In my fathers early life he was inspired by the work of his Uncle, Master Sculptor Clark Battle Fitz-Gerald and apprenticed to him for some time. Clark’s son has also followed in his father’s footsteps as he lives and works in Santa Rosa Ca. I feel blessed to have had such a deep immersion in the arts and to have many family members to draw inspiration and to learn from.
One of the most important influences and elements of my work is my spiritual path as an animist. The fascination and reverence I hold for the spirits of the natural world directs most of my work. The study of Anamanta and (the greatly misunderstood) Faery-Seership are some of the most important teachings that have shaped my philosophies and spiritual practices. I also hold a Universalist approach to seeking out the truths in different religions and mystery traditions. As I greatly revere the wonder and mystery inherent in the natural world, intentionally exploring my relationship with it is a huge part of my life. Our culture’s relationship, or lack thereof, with nature is an important part of my artwork and teaching. Issues around sustainability have lead me to study and implement aspects of Permaculture Design and has inspired some of my work. Also the “Genius…” series strives to honor small but critical elements of our ecosystem that are often overlooked. One of my greatest hopes as an artist is to inspire others to help mend the sacred covenant between mankind and the earth, which gives and sustains our lives. It is that desire that drives me to try and create palpable connections between my artwork and the environment around me as I try to achieve a better balance in how I live.
While central, my work as an artist extends beyond the visual arts. I am an avid Drummer, dancer and student of Martial Arts. In 2002 I helped co found and act as one of the lead facilitators at the Ritual Arts Drum and Dance Circles. To me all these practices have strong connective threads and the lessons I have learned as a musician and mover have had direct influence on my work and teaching in the visual arts, particularly as it pertains to collaboration. One of primary goals of the Ritual Arts Collective is to nurture Creative Community Spirit through the Arts. This provides individuals with alternatives to the dominant Cultural approach to how we spend time with one another and where we place value in our lives. These principles are very important to me and to my artwork and I dedicate a great amount of time and energy in staffing and presenting at a number of spiritual retreats and events, primarily in the northeast, including Earthspirit’s Rights of Spring and Twilight Convening, The Spiritfire Festival, and CoSM’s full moon gatherings.
My hope is that through my work I can help inspire others to find a greater sense of mystery and satisfaction in the world about them.