Martin D Hyde: abstract artist

Martin D Hyde hopes that viewers of his paintings will have some emotional reaction to his work, even if they don’t fully understand it.

“I believe once an artwork is completed it’s meaning then becomes the domain of the viewer. It’s important for them to put their own interpretation on the work even if it differs from my original intention,” he said.

It was, therefore, with some hesitation that I agreed to meet him at his current exhibition at Déda, in Derby, so we could see it together and it was with  relief that I found I could relate  to the work and understand  what he is trying to achieve. The body of work which has taken him two years to pull together from his rented studio in Ashbourne, represents feelings and emotions.

Martin, who is married to Emma and has two young sons, was diagnosed with cyclic depression at the age of 30.

“My work is about life as a person living with depression, those around me and my place in the world. The highs, the lows, love, loss, mood, isolation, place and belonging. 

“I try to balance some of the sadness and melancholy found in my work with an optimism and hope for the journey to well-being. 

“My work also deals with the fragility of wellness and the recurring emotional journey to maintain this.

“Through my paintings I want to bring better understanding and acceptance of the issues surrounding people with depression and the difficulties for those who love them, based on my own experiences,” Martin  explained.

Outwardly he seems a happy, confident artist and for many years only he and Emma, who he has known since their teenage years, knew he was suffering.

He explained that one of the key moments in his journey was when he decided to be honest with his friends and family about his illness. 

“I don’t have to make excuses any longer and it makes life a lot, lot easier. I used to see the depression as a curse but now I see it as a gift, and a curse.” 

The artist studied Design at Stafford University and for some years was a successful designer and illustrator.

He started painting following the death of his grandmother at a time when he wanted to express himself through his work with abstract symbolism. 

For several years after that he was not a well person and as a result he says that about five years ago he started a daily art diary. The images from that project now inform his current abstract expressive paintings.

Having run his own freelance design business in the past he has set about life as a painter in an business-like fashion and is working on building his credibility as an artist with a good deal of success.

In 2017 his painting Drifters was short-listed in the prestigious Ashurst Emerging Artist prize, a national art competition held in London, and another painting has been used by the folk band LAU  for their 2017 album.

He had a two-month residency at Artcore in Derby and as a result he was invited to exhibit at Déda.

In his younger days along with Emma he used to perform in a band and jokes that until he was 30 he thought he would make it as a musician.

“Now I have decided that this is what I am going to do. Whatever it takes I am going to keep going with this work,” he said revealing the determination which has got him this far.

For more details the Déda exhibition, which is on until July 28, go to