Fascinated by scenes and events that occur at the periphery of our vision, the places we pass through and situations that we pass by, Martin Brent seeks the decisive moment; a fragment of time that would otherwise be lost, unnoticed or forgotten. When considering a possible shot, Brent takes a step back to look for what he describes as “unintentional symmetry”, in his view, man’s ability to “create art when he least intends to”.
An object may find itself randomly placed next to an unknown individual, or corporations with no intentional regard for what may be around them suddenly experience an interaction with their surroundings. It is these unintentional moments that the artist spends most of his life seeking out, and this is clear from the stunning images he captures in the process.
After a couple of years experimenting with vintage lenses, Brent shot his new ‘Snow Trees’ series on a vintage lens in order to acheive the resolution of today’s glass without the hyper correction and elaborate coatings. Finally, through a long process of trial and error, he found exactly what he was looking for and settled on a lens that hasn’t been in production for over 40 years.
The Tree Divers series came together while Brent was in Jamaica in 2007. At first glance, it may appear that the images are created digitally, but at a closer look it is clear they are real and that the artist has captured and recorded something that gives an amazing insight into the lives of these local men who put themselves at great risk by scaling the brittle sun bleached trees that cling perilously to the cliff edges of Negril on the South West of the island. Performing with great poise and elegance from makeshift platforms and diving from an exceptional height into the sea below, there are frequently accidents; the diver not only has to scale the tree itself, he then has to achieve perfect balance on the swaying branches before timing his descent, so that he hits the water below on an incoming swell with literally only seconds being the difference between hitting water or jagged rock. Outstanding portraits of extraordinary acrobatic athletes, the Tree Divers series was shortlisted for the AOP Awards 2008, and more recently, in October 2009, won 1st place in the editorial category of the International Photography Awards, which is associated with the prestigious Lucie Foundation.
Born in 1968, Brent has had an established and successful career in advertising photography, and has been the recipient of numerous awards. He has participated in many group exhibitions, and is currently working towards the publication of his first book “The In Between Places”.