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 by those around her. She has visited more countries than she has fingers. In this, as with her artwork, there is a pronounced component of conquering. In this, there are analogies – to both her process and to her artwork. Martray attended the University of Colorado at Denver to study creative writing, but instead became a full-time visual artist in 2006. She started out as a painter before adding sculptural artwork to her skill set in 2009. In 2018, she transitioned into using graphite and charcoal to create surreal landscape drawings with powerful movement and energy. Martray has consistently maintained clarity of creative voice as her visual expressions have evolved through multiple mediums.
Her artwork is driven by world-building. She’s interested in exploring possible and impossible landscapes that may or may not exist on this planet, in this dimension, in a memory, a dream, or a vision… they may never have existed anywhere — until now. Martray's artwork conveys an architectural/organic world that thrives in paradox and ambiguity; it’s a place that gives voice to so much more than can be articulated with sound or words. Each drawing she creates is an earnest translation of the feelings, ideas, images, landscapes, and visions of her inner world — for Martray, the ultimate goal of her creative life is to ardently impart to your inner world what she can from her own.
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 artwork is optimistic. Predicated on the movement of her hands, 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. Hers are places unseen like the soul’s landscape.
Martray’s artwork has been shown nationally since 2010. She has been the recipient of many awards, including First Place in Drawing from the Armonk Art Show (2021), Judge’s Choice Award in Drawing from the ArtiGras Fine Arts Festival (2020), Best of Show from the Bayou City Art Festival (2019), Award of Excellence in Drawing from the Northern Virginia Fine Art Festival (2019), Best of Show from the Bayou City Art Festival (2016), Best of Show from the Decatur Art Festival (2013), Award of Distinction in Sculpture from the Naples National Art Festival, SLC Gallery Associate Award in Sculpture from the Utah Art Festival, Excellence in Sculpture from the Museum of Fine Art Houston (2010), and the Best in Show at the Santa Fe Arts District (2010). Her installation piece, "Shadow Happy", which consists of over ten thousand origami cranes folded from the pages of an unpublished novel she wrote, was displayed at Denver International Airport in 2011 and part of 2012.
View images from Brianna Martray's BoxHeart 2021 Exhibition, From the Lifeboat.