(1964 – )

Carolyn Parton

Carolyn Parton, born in 1964, is a South African artist living and working in Cape Town. Parton has an Advanced Diploma in Graphic Design from the Cape Town University of Technology and she graduated in 2008 with a Bachelor of Art in Fine Art (cum laude) from the University of South Africa.

Carolyn Parton is primarily a sculptural painter; she extends the medium through her investigation of paint as physical matter embedded with memory. Parton’s deep interest in the human potential to transform energy and matter has resulted in her primary focus being the impact of it on living beings and the natural environment. In particular, the accumulative traces left by human behaviour on earth. Parton views the creative act as holding the potential to transform destruction. Her published research article Extended Traces: Tracking the impact of painter upon environment has been the foundation of her work since 2010. 

She has held numerous solo exhibitions in both South Africa and London, the most recent being Songs Beneath the Surface at the Sulger-Buel Gallery in London. Her group exhibitions include Matereality at Iziko South African National Gallery and The Future is Female at Sulger-Buel Gallery London. Additionally, her work is included in the permanent collections of The Constitutional Court of South Africa, the Southern African Foundation for Contemporary Art, the University of Cape Town, and the University of South Africa.


Recent solo exhibitions


Optimal Vibration, Group Exhibition, Graham Contemporary, Johannesburg

Songs Beneath the Surface | Sulger-Buel Gallery, London

This Remembering Land II | Sulger-Buel Lovell Gallery, London

This Remembering Land I | Sulger-Buel Lovell Gallery, Cape Town

Selected group exhibitions


Sunny Side Up, Group exhibition, Graham Contemporary, Johannesburg, South Africa

New Day Spring Group Exhibition | Graham Contemporary, Johannesburg

Matereality | curated by Andrea Lewis | IZIKO SANG, Cape Town

The Future is Female | Sulger-Buel Gallery, London

Sulger-Buel Gallery Booth | Cape Town Art Fair

Ethics, Affect and Endurance | curated by Gwen Miller | Spier, Stellenbosch

Art as Destination: Co-Creation of Culture | curated By Gwen Miller | Unisa Gallery, Pretoria

Terra | curated by Elfriede Dreyer | Oliewenhuis Museum, Bloemfontein

Imago Mundi (Map of the New Art) | curated by Nadja Daehnke | Luciano Benetton Collection, Foundation Cini, Isola do San Giorgio Maggiore, Venice

What’s Going On? | curated by Kefiloe Siwisa | Lovell Gallery, Cape Town

Imago Mundi (Map of the New Art) | curated by Nadja Daehnke | Luciano Benetton Collection, Ca’ dei Carraresi, Treviso, Italy and Museo Carlo Bilotti, Rome

Terra Pericolosa | curated by Elfriede Dreyer | Fried Contemporary Gallery

Threshold | curated by Virginia MacKenny | Michaelis Gallery, Cape Town

Transcodes | curated by Gwen Miller | Unisa Gallery, Pretoria

Spier Contemporary (finalist) | City Hall, Cape Town


Selected articles:
Material remains | Natasha Norman
Affect and complexity of ethics in visual arts: a curatorial reflection | Prof. Gwen Miller
Transcode//Dialogues Around Intermediary Practise | Prof. Gwen Miller
Let Sleeping Dogs Lie: Visual Expressions Of Burial As Loss Of Teleology | paper presented at Oxford University | Prof. Elfriede Dreyer
Awake to What Is | Virginia MacKenny

Research Articles:
Extended traces. Tracking the impact of painter on environment | Research article | De Arte Journal of Art History
Release | Research document and final year exhibition | University of South Africa

  • South African Foundation for Contemporary Art Permanent Collection
  • University of South Africa Permanent Collection
  • The Constitutional Court of South Africa Art Collection
  • University of Cape Town, Michaelis Permanent Collection
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