Home > Martha Colburn: My Secret Shame

Martha Colburn: My Secret Shame

HOME will host the first UK solo exhibition by Martha Colburn, curated by Bren O’Callaghan, bringing together an eclectic selection of her work from the past twenty-five years. Martha’s bold, frenzied and offbeat animations are simultaneously fantastical, painterly and punk rock; providing a skull-splitting, homebrew alternative to the anonymous, online media stream.

Incorporating animation, collage, drawing, photography, installation and an accompanying cinema programme, Colburn has created over 70 films and an orbiting asteroid-belt of related ephemera tracing the artist’s journey from rural Pennsylvania to Baltimore’s underground film scene via Amsterdam, New York and Los Angeles.

Martha Colburn’s commitment to a laborious, hand-made analogue process, often taking years to complete a single work, shows dedication to the stop-motion process and results in a unique voice in high octane, experimental film.

In the gallery, Dolls vs. Dictators (2010) pits Pee-Wee Herman and The Power Rangers plus a supporting toy box infantry against the world’s most infamous despots. Myth Labs (2008) reinterprets the arrival of the Pilgrim settlers within a land rich in crystal-meth. Triumph of the Wild (2009) sees man and nature tumble through a cycle of destruction at the expense of the natural world.

Also included are many of Colburn’s early, cult-underground shorts exploring fetish, desire and obsession within a purposely built cruise-maze of dark corners, curtained booths and seedy soundtracks… featuring My Secret Shame (1996), Hey Tiger! (1996), There’s A Pervert in our Pool (1998), Spiders in Love (1999) and Cats Amore (2000), creating a heady, intoxicating playscape of pseudo-sleaze.

New work includes an anatomical autopsy for Brooklyn-based performance artist Narcissister and the UK cinema premiere of The Garden (2018), a London Sinfonietta and Asko|Schönberg co-commission featuring animation by Martha and conducted by Geoffrey Paterson. The Garden follows one man’s search for meaning, in the midst of a mid-life crisis, as he digs a tunnel from his garden, to hell, heaven and back again.

A supporting film programme will screen additional artist shorts plus related features and discussions.

This exhibition is suitable for mature audiences only (18+)

“Emerging from Baltimore’s experimental art and music scene in the mid-90s, Colburn’s early films reflected a gritty, trashy DIY sensibility that also characterized zine culture and underground music of the period.”

“The result of a painstakingly slow and hand-driven production process, Colburn’s animated films nonetheless teem with speed, their paper puppet stars running, tumbling, and falling apart in a constantly morphing and manipulated landscape.”

“Taking everything from Hunter S Thompson to Howard Zinn and The Doors as inspirational sources, Colburn is the contemporary nomadic artist personified.”
Dazed Digital