Mandy Coppes-Martin

Mandy Coppes-Martin works with specific fibres, threads and silks - which weave through through her drawings and sculptures - to take the viewer on a journey through traces of the past.  

“I am interested in the physical connection to the material, the subject matter I work with and the theoretical association with the image and the material”. 

Coppes-Martin applies the traditional art of crocheting and french loom knitting to paper thread and raw silk fibres to create forms and shapes that depict a life once lived, or an action once taken. Whether the resulting image is a depiction of an abstract mark of nature or an interpretation of a literal object her art seeks to retrace the past and, in turn, create a new skeleton of memories.  


A distinctive aspect of her work is the imperfection, the fragmentation. It is symbolic of life itself, the world around us.  


“Nothing lasts, nothing is finished, nothing is perfect and nothing is forever”  

Mandy completed her Masters Degree in Fine Art (cum laude) in 2004 where she concentrated on the development of local and invasive plant fibres for the production of specialist papers. She continued to work with paper and fibre for the next 12 years partaking in several different intitiatives such as; paper research, product development, research of invasive plant species and sustainable development in communities in and around South Africa.  

Between 2002 and 2004 Mandy travelled to Japan, Holland, Germany and Belgium to work with various paper experts in three-dimensional paper-casting techniques and sheet production. She has been involved in various outreach initiatives in South Africa, Mozambique, Botswana, Germany and Belgium.  

In 2012 Mandy became a full time artist producing work in paper and silk. Her works “Trembling Giant” and “Virgin Pulp” were awarded the runner-up prize in the Sasol New Signatures 2012 Art Awards. These works can be found in the Sasol Collection. Mandy has been on numerous group exhibitions in Holland, England, Belgium and the USA as well as the Philippines. In 2016 Mandy was invited to be on the Paper Biennial in Rijswijk in the Netherlands and in 2017 she won the “Transparency” Design competition, funded by the Swedish Embassy and curated and hosted by the University of Johannesburg.  

Coppes-Martin’s work can be found in several private and corporate collections; namely RMB Rand Merchant Bank, RHMH, ABSA, Sasol and the Whitman Museum (USA).  Mandy Coppes–Martin lives in Johannesburg and works from her Nugget Square Studio in Johannesburg, South Africa. Please visit mandy _c _martin on instagram for more information.  

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Mandy Coppes-Martin

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28 Jul 2019

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