Four Artists and a Saint



Arts, Events

Mr Bartle

The Contemporary Collective Spring 2015 show, running from the 2nd – 8th of March at The Gallery at St Martins, Lincoln, LN1 1ET (opposite Bojangles just off the top of the high street) is a rare chance to see the work of four super talented and original local artists in one intimate space, two seconds from all your favourite Steep Hill shops in Lincoln’s cultural quarter.

St. Martins is run by Phil Bowman, a good friend and an accomplished artist himself who has run the gallery since 2009 with a goal to make art available to everyone. The gallery has a regularly changing programme of exhibitions from emerging and established artists so you may be surprised at how much there is to discover if you return throughout the year.

As one of the artists showing (as Mr Bartle) it’s been a great chance to show in a local gallery, alongside my three art comrades: Mel Langton, Aidan O’Carroll and Richard Thomas.

Just before I launch into some more in depth info about us all, I’ll say, come down to the show, support your local artists and see this exciting exhibition while you can, and snap up signed prints, t-shirts, and limited edition artwork.

All the best,

Sam Bartle
Senior Creative, Distraction


… and now for the fun stuff… who ARE these artists anyway!?…

Mr Bartle

Using photographs as paint allows Mr Bartle to make visually loaded or abstract connections between seemingly unrelated ideas and objects, and just as he believes everything is connected in the world, so connections are made in the work.

Common themes are nature, religion, sex, pornography, medicine, beauty and death, although the scope of subjects is unlimited.

Mr Bartle also works with traditional techniques, including pen and ink, watercolour and traditional collage. His work has also been applied across many projects and objects including on clothing and for music projects. The range of work available online is growing fast!

Mr Bartle was born in Beverley, grew up in the Wolds of Lincolnshire, studying Photography and Fine Art at De Montfort University, then in Manchester. After university he has lived back in Lincolnshire, then in Bristol for 8 years where he exhibited at The Royal West of England Academy among others before recently returning to Lincoln. Since leaving university Mr Bartle has supported himself by working full time as a Graphic Designer. Currently he is Senior Creative at Distraction, Lincoln.


Richard Thomas

A practising artist originally from South Wales who has lived in Lincolnshire for the last 13 years. Richard’s work explores story telling and iconic imagery in the media of paint and collage.


Aidan O’Carroll

Originally from Co. Donegal in Ireland, artist and designer Aidan O’Carroll has been living and working in Lincolnshire for 16 years. Primarily through the use of digital media and print, Aidan produces work in a unique and graphic style that encourages the viewer to look at often familiar scenes from an entirely fresh perspective.

Interested in the possibility of making what may be perceived as ugly appear beautiful, such as scenes of industry and dereliction, and the playful and experimental use of subversive tools like colour, perspective and panorama to provide a different outlook on land and townscapes, Aidan strives to challenge the viewer to find novelty and strangeness in the recognisable and mundane.

Through his character illustrations, Aidan attempts to explore the theory that the viewer’s reaction to a piece is equally valid to the artist’s initial idea. The invocation of a mood, without entirely clear motivation for the characters portrayed, is in invitation to the viewer to perhaps come up with his or her own back-story for the character or personally-inspired explanation for their situation.

Alongside his digitally produced work, Aidan also creates pieces in a more manual way, such as painting waney-edged wood using household stains and varnishes. Although in entirely different media and using more hands-on techniques, these pieces share a graphic simplicity with all of Aidan’s work


Mel Langton

Mel Langton is a Lincoln based designer and illustrator who adores vectors and digital design and has an equal amount of passion for a pencil and a splash of paint.

Having moved to Lincoln from Leicester to study Graphic Design and Illustration at De Montford University, Mel graduated in 2001 with BA (Hons) Illustration, in which she chose to specialise. Mel produces a variety of work, including company logos, band artwork, posters, flyers, canvases, custom hand painted skateboard decks, printed t-shirts and limited edition prints of her digital artwork, all in her own graphic, edgy and alternative illustrative style. She also produces work in the more traditional sense, painting canvases using her much loved acrylic inks.

Roller Derby has also played a huge part in Mel’s life and she has built up an impressive body of Roller Derby themed artwork, stemming back from first creating the Lincolnshire Bombers Roller Girls very popular and recognisable posters, bout flyers and other promotional material.

Mel also regularly exhibits her artwork and in 2012 was one of twenty-two artists selected to show work at OPEM 2, The Collection’s second open exhibition for artists working in the East Midlands and North East Lincolnshire.

Mel also regularly produces commissioned work and this year will be taking part in the Lincoln Artist’s Markets and in the Autumn will be showing her work, and selling her wares, at the Kustom Kulture Blast Off at the Lincolnshire Showground.

More of Mel’s work can be found at