Tracy Payne
Sacred Yin

21 September - 22 October 2005

Michael Stevenson is pleased to present an exhibition of new paintings by Tracy Payne. Since graduating from the Michaelis School of Fine Art in 1987, Payne has used her painting to explore her personal development, with each new body of work testing the shifts and gains of her experiences.

The new paintings follow on from Payne's 'Post-Tokyo' phase, in which she found inspiration from a trip to Japan in search of sakura, the cherry blossom, as well as the art of kinbaku, or erotic rope bondage. In the 'Post-Tokyo' paintings, Payne combined images of the nude woman bound, a metaphor for the various ties that bind us, with the springtime cherry blossom as reminder of the cyclical nature of life, death and rebirth. This intimation of freedom from bondage comes to fruition in the new series, in which the ropes are cast off and flowers are morphed into patterns reminiscent of mandalas, embodying a sense of spiritual equanimity.

Payne employs photographic realism in combination with abstract washes in varying degrees of transparency. Her new large-scale paintings are each made up of six triangular panels forming a hexagon, with elements mirroring each other in kaleidoscopic fashion. Sacred geometry emerges with the balancing of feminine (inverted) and masculine triangular forms integral to the structure. The mirroring technique creates suggestive forms in which flowers evoke fleshy orifices and limbs entwine to suggest petals and vines. The paintings combine seductive beauty with an intimate knowledge of the trauma that precedes new life.

Click here or see below for the artist's statement.

Toward Late Spring

Maybe Sometime Soon

Pray for Rain


Together We Can

Wildflower I

Wildflower II

Wildflower III


Chi of Love
Not for sale

Strange Fruit I

Strange Fruit II

Strange Fruit III

Coffee in October by John McGlashan

Miss Tracy Payne, Miss Tracy Payne,
Painting and painting and painting again,
Over and over, the pink and the pain,
Never say never, Miss Tracy Payne.

I tried to meet up – Miss Tracy Payne.
What was she doing? Painting again!
The pink, and the pink, and the flowers again
‘Twas ever thus, Miss Tracy Payne.

“It is coming from within” – Miss Tracy Payne
“Coffee in three months,” she said once again,
It’s strange how those words: pain and Payne
So very similar in pink, don’t you think, once again!

Miss Tracy Payne, Miss Tracy Payne
It’s a day at a time or you’ll do pink again!
The flowers, the females, the stuff and my brain!
Return in October, Miss Tracy Payne
Return in October, Miss Tracy Payne.

And the day came when the risk (it took) to remain tight in the bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom. - Anaïs Nin

There is pink in this work, but less pain. The women, still fragile, are out of bondage; they have broken free, the bubble of isolation has burst and they join together in the dance of life. Flowers bloom.

Working in oils on canvas I choreograph imagery handled with photographic precision together with the abstract language of washes and drips. This demands focus and discipline, and it is within these strict confines that I find the time and space to meditate. I love painting and the act of painting calms me, it lowers my heartbeat and slows my breathing. It takes time for my paintings to grow, sometimes months, each one demanding devotion and attention until its completion.

Sacred Yin is a kaleidoscopic interpretation of my exploration of the rebirth of the feminine principle. My paintings mirror the sacred geometry or archetypal energy forms that underpin all creation. I am not alone in recognising that our world is out of balance – we have been living in a left-brain, male-dominant society for centuries. In my paintings I consider this imbalance by working with the geometrical form that the six vibration generates: the hexagon and its internal form, two perfectly balanced, interlocking equilateral triangles. This is the most evocative symbol of the spiritual axiom, “As above, so below”.

Six illustrates the relationship of the divine and the human, indicating the importance of the balance of the spiritual and the physical, the eternal and the transitory. This is the founding principle of sacred geometry. Six shatters the illusion that polar opposites are totally separate from each other. Six unifies the male and female aspects of our psyches, and the perceptual consciousness of the right and left hemispheres of the brain. Six represents co-operation, proportion and harmony.

Tracy Payne, Cape Town, September 2005

For more information contact +27 (0)21 421 2575 or fax +27 (0)21 421 2578 or email

© 2005 Michael Stevenson. All rights reserved.