Borders are critical and complex entities, concepts and constructs. Many artists have engaged with notions of permeability, transience and constraints in relation to borders but few have dealt with the impressions of borders and their bureaucratic ephemera as tangibly as Onyis Martin. Before Tomorrow Comes is a presentation of his latest body of work. The works are reminiscent of wheat-pasted advertisements, posters on walls, backdrops to busy intersections – the traces left behind of information that is posted, pasted, changed and updated.
The title of the exhibition is lyrical but also somber by reminding us the pace of time and the urgency of how things shift, are replaced, pasted over, changed and left behind. The work speaks to a kind of visual vocabulary that is accustomed to the arrival of a tomorrow but leaves its trace through torn papers, stencil outlines and the residue of activity and dirt. It asks us to remember that through removal, traces are always left and that surfaces hold onto what has past through. Borders that are set up, be they physical or financial, remain in the landscape of our consciousness with the remnants of who and what might have passed by, before tomorrow begins to arrive.
Open 6 February 2020