Martin Foot:

What’s a mistake?

29 April 2020 | 24 minutes
Man in sculpture studio

Liverpudlian Martin Foot always loved learning and since childhood dreamt of carving in stone. At the age of 13 he worked weekends for his uncle, a stone mason. At 19 he took a one-way ticket to Australia to try his luck and found himself carving in the company of Italians, who spoke of home. This sowed the seeds in Martin’s mind of some day working there himself. In 1996 he finally came to Italy, arriving in Pietrasanta at the end of a golden age when small sculpture studios still existed throughout the town.

man sitting on top of a large white sculpture of a woman

Martin Foot sitting on Spirit of Liverpool, 1996

Martin in his studio

Martin speaks of his essential faith in today’s youth. He believes if we give them an opportunity, they’ll take it. ‘We’re responsible for them’ he says. He helps young carvers where he can, adding, ‘what’s a mistake? It’s a mistake if you don’t learn by an error.’

He finds working in restoration invaluable because by looking at the original pieces, he’s made aware of the level he needs to reach. As Martin says, ‘if you’re not studying it, you won’t know how high the bar is. If you want to know how good you are, don’t compare yourself to the person standing next to you, go into one of the beautiful art galleries’.

Martin Foot, Neptune, 2010, height 35cm

Martin Foot with Memorial, 2013, Illinois

Martin Foot, Dog in Carrara Marble, 2002

Credits

Episode edited by Michael Hall.

Running Dog Productions Ltd

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