Sue Martin




Sue Martin is a South African artist, working primarily in mixed media, contemporary style paintings.

Sue grew up in the 60’s in Natal. From an early age she was fascinated by the creative process and went on to study towards a Fine Arts Degree at the University of Natal, Pietermaritzburg.

Sue enjoys experimenting with various media, including photography.

Her constant, the use of oil pigments, often sits on the surface, hovering above the landscape. There is a sense of the figures being displaced from their surroundings.

  “Art is about a journey, an exploration of something that is new and relevant to me. “

The subject matter too, offers a snapshot, a moment that is caught, depicting migrant labourers, farm workers and mineworkers. Subject matter that is relevant to her growing up on a farm and observing the ebb and flow of the rural workforce.

Sue’s work has relevance, in the sense that her subject matter, the “Urban Cowboy” is captured in such a way that he takes on an identity, just like the archival photos, that Sue also derives inspiration from. These people often take on a momentous quality.

“They become heroic within the context of my work.”

Her subject matter spans her two lives between Natal and Johannesburg. All these people who have come from a rural life to seek their fortune…”These rural herdsmen earning their living from herding trollies of paper and plastic around Johannesburg.”


South African painter and printmaker Sue Martin is one such artist who employs the dusty vistas, scorched by the African Sun, as some of the backdrops against which she grapples with her own positionality as a third generation South African. Drawing from historical sources, her lived experiences, her travels and a selection of her own photographs, Martin builds up and disrupts the surfaces of her artworks creating a palimpsest of ideas, images, media and marks. Martin’s exploration of her identity is sensitive and purposeful. The textures Martin creates through the layering of paint and wax are prompts for the viewer to look closer and to scratch beneath the visually pleasing surface in order to unearth the layers of complex engagement

“I am trying to capture that elusiveness, called time.”


1998: Participated in the St Johns Centenary exhibition

1999: First solo exhibition at the Enviro Gallery, Houghton Estate

2001: Solo exhibition at Upstairs@Bamboo, Melville

2002: Participated in a group exhibition for the French Consulate

2002: Joint exhibition with Eleonora Bonavera at Upstairs@Bamboo, in Melville

2004: Solo exhibition in Westcliff

2006: Exhibited at Rooms on View

2007: Exhibited at Rooms on View

2008: Exhibited at Rooms on View

2008: Exhibited at Castellano Beltrame

2008: Exhibited in the Sun International Positive Art Exhibition

2009: Exhibited in an exhibition of international and South African at the White House Gallery

2010: Exhibited with Joan Sainsbury and Julia Cavalleri at Villa Arcadia in Parktown

2011: Solo exhibition at the David Brown Gallery Sandton

2012: Participated in a group exhibition at Toto Gallery Bridharven

2015: Solo exhibition at Alive Art Kramerville

2015: Solo exhibition at Halifax Gallery Parkhurst

2015: Group show at Everard Read Stone Steel and Bronze

2016: That Art Fair Cape Town

2016:  Turbine Art Fair Newtown


2016: Solo exhibition at Intoto Gallery Jhb

2017: Participated in a group  exhibition at Intoto Gallery Jhb

2017: Turbine Art Fair


2017: Participated in a Women group exhibition at Artist Proof Studio Jhb

2017: KKNK Festival Karoo

2017: Solo exhibition at Julie Miller Investment Art Gallery Midrand

2017: Tiny group exhibition at Intoto Gallery Jhb

2017: SA Fine Art Print Fair GIBS Jhb

2018: Design Joburg

2019: Design Joburg

2019: Illusion / Allusion Group Exhibition

2019: Turbine Art Fair

2019: Knysna Fine Art Gallery Group Exhibition

2020: Grande Provence

2020: Gathering: A community of Portraits ( Group exhibition at Jaffer Modern

2021: Solo exhibition at White River Gallery

2021: Turbine Art Fair