Oil on linen
137cm H x 152cm W
Framed in charcoal
Says Susie of this work: “It continues to amaze me how nature mimics itself. Sometimes when I look out to the ocean the waves float like cloud formations and the sky rolls like waves. Often people look at my work and say ‘What is it?’ I love being asked this because I want my work to sit within the realm of feeling, under comprehension. For me this is where really interesting things happen.
In ‘Orbit’ one can imagine that the peaks in this cloud depict a misty mountainous landform… or that this craggy headland is a cloud. To be puzzled is a fertile state where the mind searches deep into the subconscious for a ‘like’ – there is so much possibility in that moment.
A long-standing curiosity about the interchange between human consciousness and the natural world underpins this series of paintings. When I paint, as when I am close to nature, I am aware of a sense of mystery and recognition occurring in unison – it feels like an ancient legacy that is deeply rooted in my body revealing itself one mark at a time.
The Romantic painters form a major influence upon my work as they engaged with similar ideas regarding the entanglement of human sensation with nature in the early 19th century. There are complex understandings of this in indigenous knowledge systems and similar enquiries at the intersections of science, religion and culture in every age. It is not a new enquiry but it is an urgent one now that the topic of ‘human extinction’ has entered contemporary discussion.
I have named this body of work, The Overview Effect. The term, coined by writer, Frank White, outlines the experience of cosmic connection described by many astronauts viewing earth from space. They each speak of, ‘truly transformative experiences including senses of wonder and awe, unity with nature, transcendence, and universal [kinship]’ which results in a (not previously held) feeling of responsibility for all living things. This profound shift in consciousness is so uncannily similar that scientists have wondered whether zero-gravity is responsible for new connections (or re-connections) in the brain.
My paintings have been described as more like biographies than depictions of places and this resonates with me. If we can begin to truly understand how we are related to the oceans and clouds perhaps we can make the meaningful shift in consciousness which will characterise the next phase in human evolution.”
Signed on the back.
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