A Colorado native, Brianna Martray has spent a great deal of her life immersed in a variety of processes that have all culminated into the shape of her current allotment. Having come from a family of world travelers, Martray’s early desire to travel was nurtured and grown by those around her. She has visited more countries than she has fingers; she has done this, in part, on her own. She has been to the most remote of islands. In this, as with her work, there is a pronounced component of conquering. In this, there are analogies – to process and to her work.
Martay went to school for creative writing at the University of Colorado at Denver but became a full time visual artist instead in 2006, starting out as a painter before including sculptural work to her skill set in 2009. Her artwork is driven by world-building. One of the greatest moments of freedom she found in her artwork was when she started sculpting -- for the first time she felt she wasn't creating an illusion of her vision, she was creating a tangible object that cast a shadow, bringing her imagined world to life. Her current sculptural artwork uses a wide range of materials including cast bronze, cast glass, cast resins, resin clay, thread, paper, cheese cloth, and wood.
Her artwork has been shown nationally since 2010. Martray has also been the recipient of many awards nationally, including Excellence in Sculpture from the Museum of Fine Art Houston (2010), 3rd place at the Cherry Creek Arts Festival (2012), Best in Show at the Santa Fe Arts District (2010), Mayor's Award at Laumeier, St. Louis (2014). Her installation piece, Shadow Happy, which consists of over ten thousand origami cranes folded from the pages of a novel she wrote (not published yet) was displayed at Denver International Airport in 2011 and part of 2012.
Currently, Martray's artwork explores the intersection of human made vs. nature made in both theme and materials. Her paintings are a statement on process, only the colors and the shape of the working plane are chosen in the beginning. For Martray, the lasting process is divine. Once wrapped inside of it, there are no mistakes. Her experiences of traveling around the world have taught her to hone a clarity which reveals the process of knowing what is right in the moment. Her paintings are optimistic. Predicated on color and the movement of her hands within that color, her artwork is at once bigger than her, but it is also intensely personal. But she also remains one step away – in a place of strength, where she is able to somehow separate herself from her artwork and get to that place of form and color and everything larger than even the human spirit. Her landscapes are surreal. They are not the seaside villages of postcards and television specials. Hers are places unseen like the soul’s landscape. As Martray exclaims, "while the Earth is a beautiful place, I would rather paint Mars”.