Tracy Payne’s hyper real paintings evoke a sense of sublime sexuality in the art of constraint, even if she is painting a flower.

She was born in 1965 in Cape Town, South Africa. In 1987, she graduated from the Michaelis School of Fine Art, University of Cape Town, with a Bachelors of Fine Art.

Upon completing her degree, Payne spent a few years working and travelling throughout Europe and England. Exploring new cultures to Payne and in 2002 she traveled to Tokyo for the spring experience and to capture sakura, the cherry blossoms. She documented the experience, on film. She also found inspiration in the myriad images of kinbaku, erotic rope bondage. 

In her early career she was also involved in teaching art part time. However, her career has not been limited to art but has taken on many facets, including creating her own fashion label, working as an illustrator, set designer and scenic artist, as well as undertaking both private and corporate painting commission.
According to Payne’s inspiration diary she explains, “This tension between holding back and letting go, restraint and exploration, encapsulates her concerns as an artist and is investigated further in her next body of work entitled Sacred Yin (2005). In these hexagonal paintings the ropes are cast off and flowers are morphed into patterns reminiscent of mandalas, embodying a sense of spiritual equanimity. Eastern spirituality has been a consistent thread through Payne's work since 2002 as well as her focus on the feminine principle. Around 2006 she shifts her attention to the masculine as her muse.”

Payne is currently working as a full time artist and part-time painting teacher. She is based in Woodstock, Cape Town.

Solo Exhibitions
'Fumbling Towards Ecstasy', Barnard Gallery, Cape Town, 2013
'Muse', Barnard Gallery, Cape Town, 2011
'Awaken', Kizo Gallery, Durban, 2008
'Sacred Yang', Michael Stevenson, Cape Town, 2007
'Sacred Yin', Michael Stevenson, Cape Town, 2005
'Post Tokyo', Irma Stern Museum, Cape Town, 2004
'Flashback', Joao Ferreira Gallery, Cape Town, 2001
'Hush hush ....a love story', 73 Rose Str. Bo-Kaap, Cape Town, 1998

Group Exhibitions (Selected)
'Breath Water Sound' Ongaro, Cape Town, 2016
'Lineage' Ongaro, Cape Town, 2016
'Of Monuments and Men', Imibala Gallery, Somerset West, 2016
'Drawing the Line' Art.b Gallery, Cape Town, 2015
'Seeking Eden' Casa Labia Gallery, Cape Town, 2014
'Dinner Collection' Barnard Gallery, Cape Town, 2014
'What Lies Beneath' Equus Gallery, Cavalli Estate, 2014
'Naak' Art.b Gallery, Cape Town, 2014
'Paint Matters' Barnard Gallery, Cape Town, 2014
'Dinner Collection' Barnard Gallery, Newlands, CT, 2013
'Changing Faces: Profiling Portraits in South African Art', Barnard Gallery, Cape Town, 2013
'Dinner Collection', Barnard Gallery, Cape Town, 2012
'Summer Show', Casa Labia, Cape Town, 2012
'Cacophony Collection', Barnard Gallery, Cape Town, 2012
'Michaelis Alumni Exhibition and Auction', Michaelis Gallery, UCT, Cape Town, 2011
'Terpentyn' Artscape, Cape Town, 2011
'Casa Labia in Bloom', Natale Labia Museum, Cape Town, Nov 2010 - Jan 2011
'Heems', Kruisrivier farm, Klein Karoo, 2010
'Summer 2009/10: Projects', Michael Stevenson, Cape Town, 2009
'Let Them Eat Cake', Die Dorpstraat Galery, Stellenbosch, 2009 
'Harbour: The Expression of Containment in Contemporary South African Art', KZNSA Gallery, Durban, 2009
'Self/Not-Self', Brodie/Stevenson, Johannesburg, 2009
'Summer 2007/8', Michael Stevenson, CT, 2007
'South African Art Now', Michael Stevenson, CT, 2006
"Second To None: Women - South African Icons", Iziko South African National Gallery, 2006
'New Painting', KZNSA Gallery, Durban, UNISA Art Gallery, Pretoria, Johannesburg Art Gallery, 2006
'South African Art 1850 - Now', Michael Stevenson, CT, 2004
'Poynton, Victor and Payne', Michael Stevenson, CT, 2004
'Winter Warmers', Joao Ferreira Gallery, CT, 2003
'Ydesire', Castle of Good Hope, CT, 2003
'Emergency', Bell-Roberts Gallery, CT, 2000
'Sacred Symbols: Inner Vision', 3rd I Gallery, CT, 1999
'Angels Blue', Bang! The Gallery, CT, 1999
'Deposits, Idasa Gallery, CT, 1998 
'Bloom', Area Gallery, CT, 1998 
'Scrawl', Mau Mau Gallery, CT, 1998 
'Unplugged 3', Rembrandt Van Rijn Gallery, Johannesburg, 1998
'Urban Objects of Desire', Mau Mau Gallery, CT, 1998
'Art Greetings', Hanel Gallery, CT, 1997
'Cognisance: Ingqwalsela: Herkenning', South African Association of Arts, CT, 1996
'Gay Rights Rewrites', Malcolm Melkhuis, CT, 1995
'Photoworks', South African Association of Arts, CT, 1994 
'Women on Men:Men on Woman', Seeff Trust Gallery, CT, 1994
"Volkskas Atelier", Everaard Reed Gallery, Johannesburg, 1994 
'Volkskas Atelier', Association of Arts, Pretoria, 1993
'Safe Sex', The Artsstrip, Association of Arts, CT, 1993
'Artstrip', opening exhibition at The Association of Arts, CT, 1992
'Introducing: Brice, Smith and Payne', Irma Stern Museum, Cape Town, 1992
'Volkskas Atelier', Association of Arts, South Africa, 1992
'Drawings', Baxter Gallery, Cape Town, 1991
'Volkskas Atelier', Association of Arts, South Africa, 1991
The Art Market Gallery, Cape Town, 1990
Cornucopia Gallery, Cape Town, 1989
Hipnosis Gallery, Johannesburg, 1988

Collections in the Archives