Tracks & Traces: Abstractions in Painting & Photography

“Tracks and Traces: Abstraction in Painting and Photography” is not merely a juxtaposition of two individual artistic narratives; it is also a testament to collaboration, synergy, and the transformative power of mark-making. Sue Martin and Matt Slater, both individual powerhouses in their realms, come together to offer an evocative dialogue between painting and photography, abstraction and clarity.

Sue Martin’s works resonate from Johannesburg’s unyielding urban cadence, speaking to the challenges of navigating local and global narratives. Her abstractions serve as conduits of equilibrium, transforming vast landscapes and urban stimuli into distilled moments of introspection and calm.

Conversely, Matt Slater, with his profound connection to Cape Town’s natural landscapes, pushes the boundaries of photography. He delves deep into the fleeting nature of memory, employing a mélange of analogue and digital processes to craft layered narratives that stand at the crossroads of the tangible and the ethereal.

Yet, it is in their collaborative pieces, “Beginnings” and “Elementals,” where the magic truly unfolds. Slater’s evocative photographs, capturing the haunting beauty of Cape Town’s mountains, serve as the canvas. Martin then layers them with paint, a dance of brushstrokes that morphs the familiar into the abstract. What emerges are pieces that are simultaneously recognizable and enigmatic, pulling viewers into a dance of discovery where colour, shape, and mark-making guide the way. This alchemy of techniques evolves into artworks that, at first glance, seem familiar, but upon closer observation, reveal depths of abstraction and introspection.

Having collaborated in the past, Martin and Slater’s decision to come together for this exhibition is a bold step in showcasing a united body of work. It’s a meeting point, where both artists, bound by their reverence for mark-making, push boundaries, challenge perceptions, and craft a symphony of visual narratives.

In “Tracks and Traces,” audiences are invited to journey through landscapes both urban and natural, immediate and eternal. Martin and Slater’s combined works challenge us to seek balance, embrace serenity, and revel in the transformative power of collaborative artistic exploration.

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