Martin Wilson is a Cape Town based artist, engineer and part-time lecturer at the Michaelis School of Fine Art.
Although originally born in Westville, Durban, he moved to Cape Town to study at the University of Cape Town – obtaining both a Masters degree in Electronic Engineering (2011), and a Bachelor in Fine Art (2015, with distinction). Martin’s interest in visual perception began during his research in the field of machine vision, but he soon became frustrated with the arbitrary academic divide between the arts and the sciences.
In an effort to bridge this gap he decided to turn down a promising career in engineering in order to enroll in art school. Unsurprisingly, Martin’s artistic practice is still deeply entangled with scientific enquiry – simultaneously adopting and critiquing its methods and values. In particular, his work seeks to question the legitimacy of any true objective knowledge in our chaotic, fluctuating and unpredictable world, and to emphasize the inherent limits of human perception and comprehension.
His most recent sculptural works are constructed from non-traditional carbon-based materials such as organic remains, ash, charcoal, graphite and oil. These fragile but imposing objects reference the visual languages of archaeology, geology, and museum display in order to explore the disquiet spaces wedged between rational knowledge production, enchanted curiosity, and the horror of the unknown.
Conversations. 5 March – 12 April. Michaelis Galleries (Cape Town, South Africa)
Investec Cape Town Art Fair (Eclectica Contemporary). 15 – 17 February. CTICC (Cape Town, South Africa)
Spier Light Art Festival. 8 December – 30 January 2019. Spier Wine Farm (Stellenbosch, South Africa)
David Brown: Zoo. 4 December – 10 January 2019. Everard Read / CIRCA (Cape Town, South Africa)
Playtopia. 30 November – 2 December. Castle of Good Hope (Cape Town, South Africa)
Capitaine futur et la supernature. 4 April – 12 July. La Gaîté Lyrique (Paris, France)
SS17. 7 December – 27 January 2018. Gallery MOMO (Cape Town, South Africa)
Be kind. Please rewind. 22 June – 15 July. Gallery MOMO (Cape Town, South Africa)
Geodesy (-33.923429, 18.413935). 4 August – 3 September. Gallery MOMO (Cape Town, South Africa)
Bona Fides. 5 – 30 July. Jan Royce Gallery (Cape Town, South Africa)
New Monuments. 6 – 23 April. Commune.1 (Cape Town, South Africa)
Cape Town Art Fair (Gallery MOMO). 19 – 21 February. CTICC (Cape Town, South Africa)
Michaelis Graduate Exhibition. 11 – 19 December. University of Cape Town (South Africa)
SASOL New Signatures Finalists’ Exhibition. 3 September – 4 October. Pretoria Arts Museum (South Africa)
B.Y.O.B. (Bring Your Own Beamer). 3 July. Brundyn+ (Cape Town, South Africa)
Academic History & Awards
2012 – 2015:
BA (Fine Art) – Michaelis School of Fine Art (University of Cape Town)
Degree awarded with distinction in Fine Art 4, Studiowork, and Theory & Practice of Art
Simon Gerson Award for outstanding body of work (2014 & 2015)
Faculty Scholarship Award (2015)
C G Saker Scholarship (2015)
CCA Scholarship (2014)
Matthew Somers Memorial Prize (2012)
2010 – 2011:
MSc (Electrical Engineering) – University of Cape Town
Thesis Topic: Computational Photography & Image Processing
Best Paper award at the 22nd Annual Symposium of the Pattern Recognition Association of South Africa (PRASA)
2006 – 2009:
BSc (Electrical & Computer Engineering) – University of Cape Town
Degree awarded with First Class Honours
Faculty Scholarship Awards (2008 & 2009)
Cape Times. 2017. A new slant on art, incorporating video by Danny Shorkend. Online.
Design Indaba. 2017. Two artists use video and sculpture to explore perceptions of history and memory by Bongani Shweni. Online.
Art.Co.Za 2015. A Portrait of a Young Artist Series: Access – A Serendipitous Symbol by Charis de Kock. Online.
Wilson, M. 2011. Coded Aperture and Coded Exposure Photography: an investigation into applications and methods. University of Cape Town, South Africa. Online.
Wilson, M. & Nicolls, F. 2011. Coded Aperture and Coded Exposure Photography. Proceedings of the Twenty-second Annual Symposium of the Pattern Recognition Association of South Africa (PRASA2011). Vanderbijlpark, South Africa. 156-161. Online.