FNB Joburg Art Fair: Solo project by Mandy Coppes-Martin


Mandy Coppes-Martin (1973) is recognized for her use of natural materials like silk, hemp and handmade paper translated into portraits and organisms found in nature. For her solo project at the 2016 FNB Joburg Art Fair, Coppes-Martin presents an installation based body of work inspired by what she sees as the new age war between man and nature. Central to the installation is the piece “PUTRID”. This work plays on mankind’s destruction of natural resources for their own gain. Coppes-Martin’s also explores complexities around the Raflessia flower (rotten corpse flower), a rare and endangered plant which blooms in South East Asia. These flowers are completely dependent on the forest they grow in and cannot be re-planted in another environment. Through the constant interference of man, this forest, like many others are extinguished through the consumption of natural resources.

Coppes-Martin presents these flowers made in natural materials as an unusual specimen which has been ‘captured’ and placed in large perspex boxes for inspection. Through these intricate works, Coppes-Martin asks viewers to reflect on their connection to the environment and the complex conversations and contradictions which plague it.  

Coppes-Martin holds a Masters Degree in Fine Art (cum laude) and has forged an extensive career as a contemporary South African artist. The artist has been exhibiting in various group exhibitions since 2000 and has had four critically acclaimed solo exhibitions during the last decade.  She has also been included in a number of international group exhibitions in the Netherlands, Belgium, UK, USA and the Philippines (amongst others). Coppes-Martin’s work has also been regularly shown at national fairs, including the FNB Joburg Art Fair, the Turbine Art Fair and the Cape Art Fair. The artist works are in various private and corporate collections.