HIS childhood was spent surrounded by artistic inspiration.

Martin Cosgrove grew up within walls decorated with artwork by Percy Monkman, a client of his late father who was an accountant, and his mum worked as a social worker at St Luke’s hospital where David Hockney worked as an orderly.

Added to that, Cartwright Hall, a landmark location within his home city of Bradford was ‘surrounded by Henry Moores’ - he says, referring to the works of another well-known artist - and all contributing to Martin being used to having art around.

“I grew up with all of this and it seeped into me,” he says.

Regular walks within the Yorkshire Dales introduced Martin to the landscape he continues to enjoy capturing on canvas - locations such as Malham Cove - one of many oil paintings he is showcasing in his fourth exhibition ‘Fresh Horizons’ - his second at Bradford Cathedral’s Artspace which runs from April 27 until early June.

Martin, who lives in Idle, has been involved with the Cathedral since the 1970s. He has exhibited there previously and volunteers as one of the exhibition curators.

The former Carlton Bolling student’s artistic flair was initially sparked through fine art printing at secondary school.

While art was an option it was also the type of career that had no guarantee. Instead, Martin chose to do sciences and specialise in medicine, a decision he doesn’t regret as it has given him the best of both worlds.

“I am really fortunate in that I have had lots of choices in life. I could have done lots of different things. One of the key things I have is curiosity and it has taken me to all sorts of places,” he says.

Martin trained at Sheffield University and at Leeds Teaching Hospitals but continued to draw and paint whenever there was time to pull on his walking boots and savour the scenery around him. “People think that doctors just practice medicine but actually, a lot are very creative people: there are some very talented musicians in medicine, and a lot that enjoy creative writing and art. The problem is time: you can’t do everything at once and you have to make choices,” explains Martin.

During his career he worked as a Senior Medical Officer in the Royal Air Force providing medical support to the Helicopter Force. His sky view workplace also inspired him as an artist. “It was all search and rescue type stuff - I got to see the landscape from a different perspective,” explains Martin, who also worked as a GP in Cambridge and as a consultant in occupational medicine.

It was while easing himself into retirement that he found the time to pursue his art, studying at Cambridge Regional College in 2012. The following year he held his debut exhibition in Cambridge and has held several exhibitions since. His ambition is to see his work in the Royal Academy.

For now the 58-year-old’s satisfaction comes from his artwork bringing pleasure to people. “I enjoy what I am doing and if something comes out of it that is fine.”

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