Cathy Abraham was born in 1968 in Cape Town, South Africa where she currently lives and works. She specialised in process-based art at the Michaelis School of Fine Arts, University of Cape Town (UCT), where she graduated with a Master’s in Fine Art with Distinction in 2018. Abraham’s creative work brings together seemingly disparate entities through a ritual based practice. She uses mediums that reflect the subject matter which include film, mixed media, installation and participation as well as painting and sculpture.
Selected group exhibitions include The Great South African Nude, at Everard Read in Johannesburg, and Spring Art Fair at SMAC Gallery in Stellenbosch, both in 2009; Domestic Departures at The Forge in Cape Town in 2011; In Good Company, curated by Michael Chandler at the Irma Stern Museum in Cape Town in 2013; Art/Out of the Ordinary, curated by Marilyn Martin at the Association of Visual Arts (AVA) in Cape Town in 2015; The Shape of Nothing at Michaelis Galleries, UCT; The Spirit of Stern, curated by Michael Chandler at the Irma Stern Museum in Cape Town; and The Space Between, curated by Mari Macdonald at the South African Jewish Museum in Cape Town, all in 2016.
Abraham’s first solo show, Naked, was held at the Joao Ferreira Gallery in Cape Town, in 2008. Notably, amongst other solo exhibitions Abraham presented a solo exhibition at the South African Jewish Museum in Cape Town in 2013, entitled Undying Entanglement, comprised of installation, film and works on paper.
Abraham’s work reflects her belief in an intrinsic link between art and science. Using a structure of numbers, informed by Gematria – a system within the mystical teachings of Kabbalah and the practice of repetition, she aims to unlock meaning through repetitive brushstrokes and drawings.
“Counting forms a fundamental part of my artistic practice, paying special attention to the numbers 9, 18 and 36. I work systematically to unlock surface meaning in the search for a deeper understanding of purpose and logic in every day occurrences.” Abraham works systematically to unlock surface meaning in the search for a deeper understanding of the purpose of the everyday.