Project Description

Martyn Burdon

Martyn Burdon



About Martyn Burdon

Martyn is a BP Portrait Award nominated artist, his work has been selected for the BP Portrait Award in 2017 & 2020. He lives and works in Buckinghamshire in the UK.

Martyn’s painting of the Much loved actor and comedian Sir Lenny Henry was shortlisted for the BP Portrait Award in 2020 and exhibited at the National Portrait Gallery in London.

In 2017 his painting of the actor and Musician Matt Berry was also shortlisted for the BP Portrait Award and shown at the National Portrait Gallery in London. The painting was also exhibited at the Scottish National Portrait Gallery in Edinburgh, the Sunderland Museum & Winter Garden, and the Royal Albert Memorial Museum in Exeter.

In 2019 Martyn’s work was shortlisted for the Trinity Buoy Wharf Drawing Prize, his work was exhibited in London, Salisbury, and Leicester, and his work was used in throughout the marketing campaign for the exhibition.

Martyn’s work was also shortlisted for the Derwent Art Prize in 2018. The biennial award, highlighting the best in international contemporary drawing.

As an artist, Martyn is mostly focused in calm and reflective portraiture, but his practice has covered a wide range of subject matter. His work is gentle, figurative and naturalistic, with a strong focus on emotional insight and draughtsmanship. He has a distinctive intricate style that is precise, delicate, and rewards repeated viewing. Martyn is equally comfortable working in paint or pencil


Martyn graduated with a BSc Hons in Product Design from Brunel University in 2004, he is largely self taught as an artist.

Martyn Burdon has recently had his painting of much loved actor and comedian Lenny Henry selected for exhibition in the 2020 BP Portrait Award show. Martyn studied art at A level but is otherwise self taught, having gained a BSc (Hons) degree in Product Design from Brunel University. His work was selected for inclusion in the Derwent Art Prize (2018), Trinity Buoy Wharf Drawing Prize (2019) and was previously seen in the BP Portrait Award in 2017.

The portrait is of Sir Lenny Henry, whose career includes acting, writing, comedy and television presenting. His recent campaign for equality in the arts has led to Birmingham City University creating the Sir Lenny Henry Centre for Media Diversity, which will look at representation across the industry including journalism, acting, flm, TV and radio in both front-of-house and behind the scenes roles. The artist contacted Henry to request a portrait sitting after seeing him in the Theatre Royal Stratford East’s production of August Wilson’s play King Hedley II.

BP Portrait Award show 2017

Derwent Art Prize 2018

Trinity Buoy Wharf Drawing Prize 2019

BP Portrait Award Show 2020