Martin Kinnear

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'Burnley (oil on canvas) was duly selected for the Government Art Collection (GAC) and it hangs at Downing Street, there to be admired by the Prime Minister and his Cabinet.

On the GAC website it is described thus: “landscape 21stC, industrial, urban, bin, street, terraced house, chimney”.

If that isn’t the perfect counterpoint to a Lulu Lytle interior, then I don’t know what is.

But if that blunt inventory sounds bleak, the Kinnear painting style is anything but. With deft brushstrokes and exuberant swathes of colour, he elevates grittiness to something rich and magisterial.

No wonder he is “lionised in Paris”.

David Whetstone. Art Critic Jan 2022

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My Story

Raised on a ‘sink’ estate I dismiss the idea that we are doomed to fight an uneven struggle between opportunity and possibility. My work is a celebration of community and optimism in the face of inequality: We decide whom we become.

'Martin Kinnear is an award winning fine artist, writer and author. Working from memory he creates images of people and the places which make them. Kinnear's works have earned him a Medaille d'Argent at his inaugural Paris Salon, recognition as one of the North's leading contemporary painters and seen his work of Northern England hung in Downing St for the Govt. Art Collection.''

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About Martin 


Martin Kinnear (b. 1969), is a self taught oil painter from the council estates of Northern England with awards from the Paris Salon and collectors at the highest level of UK society.


His work spans many subjects but is rooted in just one, an autobiographical view of the world as he sees it.

In 2004 Martin suffered a catastrophic brain injury which left him disabled and changed the nature of his work and his thinking; emphasising the experiential and possible over superficial observational painting. 

Recognised as 'a true artist' by Catherine Severac (president for peinture; Societie Nationale des Beaux Arts) on the presentation of his Medaille d' Argent at the 2018 Paris Salon, and as 'the natural successor to Norman Cornish' following his artistic residence by the curators of The Bowes, Martin's work has won him increasing critical acclaim. 


At the start of 2020, a work from Martin's recent paintings of the North was accepted by The Prime Minister Boris Johnson and taken into the Govt. Art collection to hang in Downing St. to provide a visual reminder of the North West at the heart of government.

Exhibitions & Awards


Martin Kinnear, Regeneration, Solo Show, The Bowes Museum, County Durham

Martin Kinnear. Works from Regeneration, Solo Show ,Tennants Gallery, North Yorkshire


Martin Kinnear, Landscapes of The North, Solo Show, Tennants Gallery, North Yorkshire


Martin Kinnear, 'Backstreet Burnley', Govt. Art Collection for Downing St

Martin Kinnear, Lefty's North, Solo Show, Tennants Gallery, North Yorkshire

Artist in Residence, Norman Cornish Retrospective, The Bowes Museum.



Martin Kinnear, Societie Nationale des Beaux Arts Salon, Paris.

The Holt Festival, Auden Gallery, Holt. 


Martin Kinnear, Beyond Here, Solo Show, Tennants Gallery, North Yorkshire

Martin Kinnear, Societie Nationale des Beaux Arts Salon, Paris.

Awarded Medaille d' Argent for Peinture. 



Iona Gallery, Woodstock, Oxon. 


Martin Kinnear, The Painted Garden, Solo Show, New British Art Gallery, Norfolk




Discerning Eye



The Holt Festival, Auden Gallery, Holt



Eastern Open (runner up), Peterborough

AAF Battersea

Young Masters, Balham, London 



In my work I want to show how the way we choose to live, determines not only how we view the world but ultimately, whom we can become. 

Using word pictures and memory as starting points, my painting is deliberately interpretative as a means of revealing to each viewer the effect of their experiences on the nature of their seeing.

In this manner, my painting creates a collaborative space for understanding each other and ourselves.  

All painting done with feeling, whatever its subject, is always a self portrait. My hope as an artist then, is that you will get to both meet me and yourself through my work.

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