Martin Lyttle is an Irish stone sculptor. He was born in Kenya and lived in Ethiopia as a child before coming to Co. Carlow, Ireland at the age of nine. He studied Mineral Engineering in Athlone and went on to obtain an Honours Degree in Engineering Geology and Geotechnics in Portsmouth, England. He spent nine years in the valleys of South Wales and returned to Ireland in 1999, working as an Engineering Geologist. He lives near Borris in Co. Carlow, Ireland.
Martin has always had a passion for the landscape, the rocks and the soil and the processes that have formed the landscape. It was this strong interest that led him into a career in geology and now in stone sculpting.
In 2007, Martin took up a long cherished desire to do stone sculpting. He attended the Portland Sculpture and Quarry Trust, Portland, UK for a 3 week sculpture course and in the summer of 2008 he attended Stone Sculpture Symposium Salzburg International Summer Academy of Fine Arts.
As a stone sculptor, his work concentrates on natural, organic forms and the composition and texture of the stone he is working. A sense of place and a concern for the natural environment informs his practice, with inspiration drawn from the trees, hedgerows, stone walls, bogs and the landscape of the Blackstairs Mountains and also his garden. It is the irregularity of nature, the biodiversity and the small generally unseen things and that interests him. He explores the sculptural form and shape of the things he finds, but also their divisions, segmentation, ridges, lobes, patterns and textures in relation to their feel and interaction with light.
He mainly works in local Kilkenny limestone, often waste off-cuts from local quarries, full of fossiliferous life, that can be worked from light grey to black, but he also uses local Carlow granite or any found stone suitable to work.
Martin exhibits annually with Richard Scott Sculpture at Ballymaloe House. He is a member of the 9 Stone Artists with whom he exhibits regularly. He has been selected for the RHA annual exhibition on a number of occasions and in 2018 he was awarded by the RHA the ESB Moran Award for Outstanding Sculpture.
He has completed large public art commissions at Enniscorthy (2010) and at Hollywoodrath in Co. Dublin (2019).