Martin Aveling's passion for drawing was born out of his surroundings at a very young age. While his parents were working to conserve mountain gorillas on the steep forested slopes of the Virunga volcanoes, Mart picked up pencils and drew them.
Mart's inaugural exhibition 'Metamorphosis' (2001) at the Pool Room Gallery in Nairobi was a sell-out success, and other solo exhibitions in Kenya, the UK and the USA have followed. After graduating from the University of Bristol in 2004 with an honours degree in Geography, Mart built his career around his primary passion for art and the natural world. He is a regular on the London wildlife art scene, having exhibited with the Society of Wildlife Artists and at the DSWF ‘Wildlife Artist of the Year’ event, for which he has been a finalist the past 13 years and highly commended on multiple occasions. An award from the Society of Wildlife Artists took him to Indonesia in 2008, fulfilling an ambition to observe orangutans in the wild.
With 'Sudan' - the last male northern white rhino. Ol Pejeta, Kenya.
In 2010 Mart drew the first illustration of the newly discovered Myanmar Snub-nosed monkey. That same year he collaborated with Elephant Family on ‘Elephant Parade London′, designing one one of the installations for the capital’s biggest public art exhibition to date. He went on to design a crocodile for ‘Jungle City’ in Edinburgh (2011), and during Easter 2012 his three foot high ‘dinosaur egg’ was installed in central London for the record breaking 'Fabergé Big Egg Hunt'.
His work has been auctioned in Paris, and featured in charity auctions hosted by Christie’s and Sotheby’s. He is an ambassador for Derwent pencils and provided the artwork for their current pastel pencil range (his favoured medium for over 20 years). In 2018 Mart was invited on as a signature member with Artists For Conservation - the world's leading artists group supporting the environment. In 2020 he was made a partner artist at the David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation. Later that year he established the 'Ingrid Beazley Award' - a £5,000 grant awarded to the winner of the 'Human Impact' category at 'Wildlife Artist of the Year', for which he sits on the judging panel. This grant is designed to help wildlife, stimulate creativity and support those suffering with eco anxiety. In 2021 Mart was awarded the inaugural 'David Shepherd Art of Survival' award at the 'Wildlife Artist of the Year' online ceremony for his contribution to wildlife art and conservation.
Mart strives for a clean, contemporary look to his artworks, celebrating the detail in his animal subjects. He creates hidden environments for his subjects to live in by manipulating negative space. Through his drawings, Mart aims to raise the profile of endangered wildlife around the world and to generate support for its conservation. From the sale of his art, Mart has helped raise close to £50,000 for wildlife conservation. Among the organisations whose work has benefited from his support are Fauna & Flora International, the David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation, Orangutan Land Trust, the Orangutan Foundation, Tusk Trust, Elephant Family and For Rangers.
Drawing of a Hyacinth macaw for Derwent's pastel pencil range.