Susie uses traditional oil paints on stretched linen, which she prepares herself. ‘It’s a soulful thing. It’s like summoning the spirits of masters past,’ she says. ‘The process of preparing a canvas can take up to four months, with several layers of coloured primings, building an optical complexity in the ground. I occasionally incorporate more contemporary supporting fabrics (like polyester/cotton) for large works, but for the most part, it’s linen. Linen and linseed oil (which binds the pigments) both come from the same flax plant, a sustainable and fast-growing crop.
Such considerations are important to me when I think about the landscape and the way we share existence – I want my materials to reflect my rationale.
I tend to work in series and will work on many paintings at once. It is sometimes frenzied and intense and sometimes easy – like any good relationship. There are always conversations going on between me and the work.
Susie’s new work incorporates ideas about the human body in the landscape, not as a figure moving through space but as one living interconnected being.
Susie is currently studying a Master of Fine Arts at the National Art School, Sydney. She holds a Bachelor of Design Hons (Visual Communications), University of Technology, Sydney and a Bachelor of Fine Art, National Art School, Sydney. She lives with her family on Sydney’s northern beaches.
Photo credit: Elin Bandman