Fresh Meat: Erin Maartens


Erin Maartens just completed her BA in fine arts at Michaelis, majoring in printmaking. We recently spotted her work at the Michaelis Graduate Exhibition, and chatted to her about her approach to art, experience as a student and plans for the future.

How and why did you become interested in art?

I  have had a fascination with creating since I was very young. My mother has always been passionate about art too, so I suppose the environment I grew up in fostered creativity.

What has your experience as a student been like? What valuable lessons did you learn along the way?

It has been both difficult and rewarding. I struggle particularly with sticking to a schedule and I procrastinate frequently, which doesn’t help. But I have met so many fantastic people since I came to UCT. Although I think I would’ve worked much harder and resisted less if I’d taken a year off after matriculating, the last four years have been invaluable and I’m eager to see where the future will take me.


Tell us about the concept, process and result of your final project.

Next Yesterday is an intimate exhibition that draws on memories, both my own and my mothers, of my maternal family using installation to recreate a version of my bedroom.


I tried to capture the precious images and material belongings that have illustrated my familial narratives. Attempting to portray the beauty of a decaying heritage was my requiem for previous generations, and also a homage to my wonderful mother.

How would you describe your personal style, and what influences it?

Intimate, nostalgic, wistful. I’m strongly influenced by my home life as well as the art of Tracey Emin,the expressionists, and the earlier work of David Hockney. But to be honest there are so many things I see daily that resonate with me, it would be impossible to list them all.


Describe your dream job.

Hotshot artist/designer.

What are you busy with at the moment?


What are your plans for the future? 

Next year I’m concentrating on building technical skills in pattern drafting and sewing. I want to marry  printmaking and fashion design and be able to create clothes that blur the line between art and fashion.

Credit: All artwork photographed by Amy Lilley


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