Sue Martin

Sue Martin
Johannesburg based artist, Sue Martin, has been honing her painting and printmaking skills since the 1980s when she completed a BA Fine Arts degree at the University of Natal in Pietermaritzburg. Sue writes about her recent body of work, "My African Garden"

Over the past year, my studio transformed and became what I like to refer to as my ‘magic garden’. An environment of fantasy and wonder where I found myself spending hours exploring and playing. I found beauty in my artworks and the various materials that surrounded me.

Like a garden I need light, and I allow this light to shine out of my work. Love is light.

This body of work is a celebration of life and its fragility.

This show comprises a body of new paintings, monoprints and etchings. The series of monoprints began evolving last year as a response to the death of my Mother. Her passion was her garden. Unlike the wild indigenous garden that I have surrounding my home, my mother’s garden was an English country-style garden, comprising of many exotic plants carefully pruned into compliance. She spent hours maintaining her garden, she planted in ‘beds’, along boundary walls and around the house: neat, orderly and clipped back.

My images of peonies, poppies and dahlias are a nostalgic reference to these past memories. Juxtaposed with images from my own indigenous garden, which is wild, unruly and left to self-seed and regenerate, as the seasons come and go. The Iris, referenced in my “Lie of the Land” series, represents a colonial, bygone era, blooming only for a short period of time. Its exotic, foreign beauty strangely out of place in the harsh highveld landscape.

In the “Cartographer’s Notes” series, I have worked onto the surface of found maps, which take on a more botanical theme. Plants and places that I have seen and visited, have re emerged onto the surface, in a bright and spontaneous way. The limited edition of etchings, with their sketch-like quality, denotes a field study, capturing the essence of a plant seen in nature, to be taken home and reworked in the studio.

“But I believe above all that I wanted to build the palace of my memory, because my memory is my only homeland.” - Anselm Kiefer

All the prints were done in collaboration with printer Bevan de Wet at Eleven Editions.

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  1. Sue Martin
    Still Life I
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  2. Sue Martin
    South Africa
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  3. Sue Martin
    Still Life II
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  4. Sue Martin
    Cuttings III
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    Cuttings II
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  6. Sue Martin
    Cuttings I
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  7. Sue Martin
    Blooming V
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    Blooming III
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    Blooming IV
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    Blooming I
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    Blooming II
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