Martin Eberlen (bn. Martin Richardson, 1984) is a London based documentary photographer, visual artist, writer and journalist, and teacher in training. Martin graduated with a distinction from the MA Photojournalism and Documentary Photography course at London College of Communication, in 2018. Prior to his MA he had been photographing portraits professionally since graduating from his BA in 2009.
In 2019, Martin joined the Teach First programme, in partnership with University College London, Institute of Education. For two years Martin will train to become a teacher, gaining a PGDE in Design & Technology by 2021. Martin will teach at Harris Academy, Orpington.
Martin’s photojournalism work is centred on outdoor adventure pursuits such as running, cycling, mountaineering and climbing. All of which Martin is highly experienced in, and also pursues independently in his spare time. Martin is currently producing work for BBC News picture desk, as well as assisting Antonio Olmos on editorial portrait work.
Martin's other area of study, for personal work, is the environment. He sees his work forming part of a long-term study of the Anthropocene, applying extensive research processes to every project. His most prolific study to date is titled OUR LAND & (S)OIL, a 1600 mile bike ride along the Dakota Access Pipeline.
Using traditional photographic methods, as well as camera-less techniques including archival material, along with writing, Martin’s personal work acts as a visual aid to the industrial Anthropogenic timeline.
In 2018 Martin was selected, with just 30 other artists from around the globe, to be a part of Parallel Photo Platform. Parallel is an organisation based in Portugal who select emerging photographic artists from around the world, giving them the opportunity to exhibit their work in various European cities. As a year long cycle, the selected artists also create a new body of work, mentored by a handful of established photographic artists.
As part of Parallel 2018-19, Martin's work from OUR LAND & (S)OIL was exhibited at the Organ Vida Photo Festival in Croatia throughout September 2018. In March 2019, Martin presented new work at Format Festival, Derby. The work, titled There Are No Polar Bears Where I Live will be shown in a final exhibition in Budapest in September 2019.
Martin was awarded an Honourable Mention for his entry into the documentary photography category, showcasing work from OUR LAND & (S)OIL, in 2017s International Photographer of the Year competition.
OUR LAND & (S)OIL was also awarded an Honourable Mention in the Prix De La Photographie Paris Photo competition, 2018. The work was included in the PX3 Annual photo book.
OUR LAND & (S)OIL - “On 27th July, 2017, I began what would end up being a 1,600 mile journey by bicycle along the route of the Dakota Access Pipeline. Starting in North Dakota, I travelled to Stanley, heading west to Williston, then through South Dakota and Iowa, eventually ending in Patoka, Illinois. OUR LAND & (S)OIL documents the individuals, communities, towns and land surrounding the Dakota Access Pipeline. Through photography, publicly available documents, interviews and found material, the project tells the stories of those directly affected by the pipeline (for better or for worse), whilst subtly observing mid-west American culture from an outsider’s perspective.”
INHERITANCE looks at how consumption and waste, generated by an average family between 1986-1992, contributed to landfill, changing and contaminating the landscape for generations to come. Pockets of waste lie underneath the British countryside. With little to no sunlight or oxygen the waste will not decompose, so many are simply storing the tonnes of waste we threw away. These sites will have to be dealt with at some point in the future. But by who? A handmade box, made by Martin Eberlen, containing family photographs, landfill facts and figures, along with unique imagery of the soil from one specific historic landfill site, this box presents the actions of the past, to the future recipients of our contaminated land.
NUCLEAR 449 is a research project that uses archival photographs from the Atomic Photographers Guild, as well as other cameraless image making processes, to build up a summary of the timeline of nuclear technology. From Einstein’s letter explaining his theory of relativity to President Roosevelt, to the development of the first atomic bomb, the project looks at how nuclear science evolved. The latter part of the project focusses on spent fuel, the small percentage of nuclear waste that remains radioactive for thousands of years, which currently has no safe way to be disposed of. Proposed methods include deep burial under extremely remote, rural locations.
Teach First Leadership Development Programme, UCL Institute of Education - Currently training
MA Photojournalism and Documentary Photography degree course at London College of Communication - Graduated with Distinction
March 2016 - 'Seeing The World: Documentary Photography' Short Course at London College of Communication
Current and active member of the Royal Photographic Society
2006 - 2009 London College of Communication - BA Graphic and Media Design for Advertising
2005 - 2006 London College of Communication - Art & Design Foundation