Cathy Abraham

Born 1968 and based in Cape Town, Abraham interrogates conventional roles of women in the domestic institutions of marriage and religion. She references her personal experience as a pivotal point of departure for her evolving look at these ideas.

Abraham’s first introduction to art was through the performing arts in 1987 as a student at Michaelisdrama school, UCT. Her trajectory has been assembled through the choice of appointed contemporary teachers. Since 1998 Abraham has been in private tuition with Lindy Solomon of the ASTAR method and Rosenclaire; an interesting combination of process driven, art historical, and purist methodology. This in conjunction with her study of performance and the teachings and material of her domestic life – married for 21 years and a mother of four teenagers have informed the foundation of her practice.

Abraham works in mixed media with domestic materials; tea, coffee, wine, ink, bleach, household paints often mixed with conventional art materials. Conceptually, she references the domestic material that surrounds her and articulates and questions the details that she encounters in her life, shining a light on these as themes that run through her work.

Unearthing personal history and engaging her life expectations, Abraham works with old family films, images, furniture and other inherited relics.
Investigating the blurred lines between reality, fantasy and illusion compared with existence and death.

Her belief in the links between art and science, spiritual practice and reincarnation inspires her search for ways to shift perspective, challenging notions of time and space, expectation and reality, collapsing past, present and future.

Abraham has been exhibiting since 2008 in Cape Town and Johannesburg and has work in private and public collections locally and internationally.


Artists Statement

I am taken with the notion that, like the law of conservation of energy, nothing is lost in this world. All connection, time, space, action, word and thought are entangled in their rippling, transferring and transformation
through generations.

The thread through my work is memory and material unearthed, the unwanted matter and the details in the things that usually go unnoticed. I attempt to confront the vacuum by using materials ordinarily cast away such as years worth of papers upon which the weekly challah is baked; found photographs and certificates ,stains, broken glass, old childhood drawings pointing at the origin of a fantasy. In the debris and subverted gaze, I try to exposethe frustration and tension between seeing and not seeing and instead cast an invitationto look at what is truly there.