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Paintings

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ue Martin completed her Fine Arts degree at the University of Natal, Pietermaritzburg, before moving to Johannesburg in the early 1980s. This series of work, Lie of the Land, has the hallmarks of so much of her previous work. There is an experimentation with various media, including oil paints, beeswax, photography and printmaking. Sue’s work is essentially concerned with journeys both literal and figurative; it also deals deeply with memories. The extensive use of gold in this series evokes the sense that wherever we go we take that which is most precious to us, particularly our thoughts and memories. Her work has a faded quality because, like the memory, it is a resonance, a faint echo of things remembered.

Nescio qua natale solum dulcedine musas ducit, et immemores non sinit esse sui. Our native land charms us with inexpressible sweetness and never allows us to forget that we belong to it. - Ovid

Her otherwise limited palette of earthy tones and figures set in timeless landscapes achieve a dreamlike quality. But while the figures that move or float through these landscapes give a surface impression of nostalgia and whimsy, this is offset by suggestions of a harsher reality below and behind what we immediately perceive. Her use of veils of colour metaphorically echo the many layers of meaning present in her work, as well as evoking layers of time.

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The alchemical process of mixing media fascinates her, and here the combination of beeswax and oil paint produces images of great depth and beauty. She works with veils of colour by applying layers of beeswax and oil pigment, which, when fused together by heating the surface with a flame before applying a new layer, creates a surface that seems incandescent. For Sue, one of the most captivating things about this process is the way that the thin layers of beeswax lend an atmospheric quality to the paintings. In the creative process leading up to this series, Sue was particularly inspired by reading Ephemerides by Thomas Pringle. He was one of the earliest European poets to write about South Africa in the early 1800s. What fascinates her is his use of words that evoke a sense of nostalgia, not only as he yearns for his homeland, Scotland, but also in his poetic descriptions of the arid interior of Southern Africa and his experiences in this new frontier. Part of her current work incorporates the printed word that has either been cut-and-pasted or painted onto the surface, which she sees as being as important as the image itself. Sue’s growing passion for this process has led her to explore the spatial considerations within a painting even further, laying down words or marks and then pushing them into the distance, layering not only different surfaces but also meanings. The process is a work in progress that has its own journey, much like the people who feature so prominently in her work. Every new series of work that Sue embarks on is the culmination of a deeply meditative and creative process. She is a highly conceptual artist with a strong message in all her work.

“It’s not about making a painting but rather about making space.” ~ -Sue Martin

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Sue Martin- The Lie of the Land IV - Oil pigment & mixed media on canvas - 40 x 84cm

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Afar in the desert I - Oil pigment and bees wax on paper - 50 x 71cm

Homeland - Oil pigment and bees wax on canvas - 50 x 60cm

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Prints Sue’s fascination with the changing nature of landscapes has been carried into her series of prints where she focuses on the iconic nature of the old gold mines that used to surround Johannesburg, many of which have been mothballed. She was fortunate to be given access to some disused mining sites where she photographed the remains of a once industrious and thriving gold mine. She combines this with images of the iris flower, which to her represents a colonial, bygone era, blooming for a short period of time. It too is something foreign to the harsh highveld landscape. Lie of the Land invites the viewer to consider the connotations of lie, liar and land in colonial and post-apartheid contexts. The digital print, on Hahnemuhle paper, is overlaid by a mono print. This limited edition is varied because each mono print has its own hand-drawn quality, reminiscent of a hand-coloured postcard. Sue is drawn to printmaking because of its unpredictability and the fact that she does not always have control over the final result; the printing process naturally takes her in a new direction.

“What does the artist do? He draws connections. He ties the invisible threads between things. He dives into history, be it the history of mankind, the geological history of the Earth or the beginning and end of the manifest cosmos.� - Anselm Kiefer

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There will come soft rains - Oil pigment and bees wax on canvas - 50 x 65cm

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10 11 Nothing Remains the same - Iris Germanicus limited editional and momo print on Hanemuhle paper - 875 x 1080

This speaks of sunsets past- Iris Pseudacoms limited editional and momo print on Hanemuhle paper - 875 x 1080


Illusion - Oil pigment and bees wax on canvas - 50 x 60cm

Allusion - Oil pigment and bees wax on canvas - 50 x 60cm

Space has always reduced me to Silence Unknown Territories - Oil pigment on canvas - 80 x 100cm

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(Our native land charms us with inexpressible sweetness and never allows us to forget that we belong to it.) - Ovid

Python skin on bias with ink on perspex 45 x 462cm

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Those fair haunts to gather the bright summer flowerm - Oil pigment and mixed media on Chinese rice paper - 45 x 85cm

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

Let me through the mazes rove of the light Acacia - Grove - Oil Pigment and mixed media on Chinese rice paper - 42 x 85cm

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www.suemartinfineart.co.za sue@suemartinfineart.co.za 082 604 5570 Instgram: sue_martin_fineart

Design & Layout by Ritch - 079 918 0658 18

Lie of the Land  

Nescio qua natale solum dulcedine musas ducit, et immemores non sinit esse sui. Our native land charms us with inexpressible sweetness and n...

Lie of the Land  

Nescio qua natale solum dulcedine musas ducit, et immemores non sinit esse sui. Our native land charms us with inexpressible sweetness and n...

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