BIO | Cathy Abraham

Cathy Abraham was born in 1968 in Cape Town, South Africa where she currently lives and works. She specialised in process-based art at the Michaelis School of Fine Arts, University of Cape Town (UCT), where she graduated with a Post Graduate Diploma (PGDIP) in 2016 and a Master’s in Fine Art with Distinction in 2018. Abraham’s creative work brings together seemingly disparate entities through participation and a ritual based practice. She uses mediums that reflect the subject matter which include film, mixed media, installation and participation as well as painting and sculpture.

 Most recently in 2018, Abraham’s MFA culminated in a solo exhibition titled, A Deeper Kind of Nothing.

 Selected group exhibitions include The Great South African Nude, at Everard Read in Johannesburg, and Spring Art Fair at SMAC Gallery in Stellenbosch, both in 2009; Domestic Departures at The Forge in Cape Town in 2011; In Good Company, curated by Michael Chandler at the Irma Stern Museum in Cape Town in 2013; Art/Out of the Ordinary, curated by Marilyn Martin at the Association of Visual Arts (AVA) in Cape Town in 2015; The Shape of Nothing at Michaelis Galleries, UCT; The Spirit of Stern, curated by Michael Chandler at the Irma Stern Museum in Cape Town; and The Space Between, curated by Mari Macdonald at the South African Jewish Museum in Cape Town, all in 2016.

Abraham’s first solo show, Naked, was held at the Joao Ferreira Gallery in Cape Town, in 2008. Notably, amongst other solo exhibitions Abraham presented a solo exhibition at the South African Jewish Museum in Cape Town in 2013, entitled Undying Entanglement, comprised of installation, film and works on paper.

 From 1991 – 1994 Abraham worked at Cygnet Manufacturing Company, a swimwear factory in Epping, Cape Town, where she designed fabric and swimwear as well as marketing and catalogue styling. She ran the Balu children’s clothing shops at the V&A Waterfront and Cavendish Square from 1996 – 2000. From 2003 – 2008 she taught Process-based art to adults and teenagers as a way to enlarge their portfolios, leading workshops for life-drawing, sculpture and mixed media through guided meditation.

 Abraham works systematically to unlock surface meaning in the search for a deeper understanding of the purpose of the everyday. Constantly questioning the boundaries between reality, fantasy and illusion in comparison with existence and death, she uses materials in quirky and playful ways.

 Abraham’s practice is grounded in her belief in the links between art and science; spiritual practice and reincarnation; and the search for ways of shifting perspectives. Her work challenges notions of time and space; as well as expectation versus reality—collapsing past, present and future.

 

CV – Cathy Abraham

Born 1968, Cape Town, South Africa.
Lives and works in Cape Town, South Africa.

EDUCATION

2018 Master of Fine Art Degree (MFA With Distinction), Michaelis School of Fine Art, University of Cape Town (UCT), Cape Town, South Africa.
2016 Post Graduate Diploma (PGDIP), Michaelis School of Fine Art, University of Cape Town (UCT), Cape Town, South Africa.
1991 BA Economic History, University of Cape Town (UCT), Cape Town, South Africa.

SOLO EXHIBITIONS

2018 A Deeper Kind of Nothing, Michaelis Galleries, Michaelis School of Fine Art, University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa.
2013 Undying Entanglement, South African Jewish Museum, Cape Town, South Africa.
2012 Trace, In Toto Gallery, Johannesburg, South Africa.
2011 Essence, The White House, Plettenberg Bay, South Africa.
2010 Memory Stains, IBI Art Alliance Francaise, Johannesburg, South Africa.
2009 Stripped, IBI Art Alliance Francaise, Johannesburg, South Africa.
2008 Naked, Joao Ferreira Gallery, Cape Town, South Africa.

GROUP EXHIBITIONS AND PRESENTATIONS

2016 The Shape of Nothing, Michaelis Graduate Show, Michaelis School of Fine Art, University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa. The Spirit of Stern, curated by Michael Chandler, Irma Stern Museum, Cape Town, South Africa. The Space Between, curated by Mari Macdonald, South African Jewish Museum, Cape Town, South Africa.

2015 Art/Out of the Ordinary, curated by Marilyn Martin, Association of Visual Arts (AVA), Cape Town, South Africa. Art on Paper VI, curated by Cheryl Rumbak, Kalk Bay Modern, Cape Town, South Africa.

2014 Seeking Eden, curated by Margie Murgatroyd, Casa Labia, Cape Town, South Africa.
2013 My Mother’s Garden, Arts on Main, Johannesburg, South Africa. In Good Company, curated by Michael Chandler, Irma Stern Museum, Cape Town, South Africa.

2011 Domestic Departures, The Forge, Cape Town, South Africa.

2009 The Great South African Nude, Everard Read, Johannesburg, South Africa. Spring Art Fair, SMAC Gallery, Stellenbosch, South Africa.

PRESS

Jolly, L. 2013. Complete Immersion: Honouring opposite but entangled forces of feminism through art. Cape Times. 2 October: 11.