Susie Dureau’s intensely emotional scenes are more biographies than landscapes – the stories of the natural world intertwined with the human condition, emotion and behaviour. As much great joy as desperate sorrow, the Turneresque storms and seas of light and colour and movement on linen or board tell a greater story of her desire for human compassion, without ever depicting a single human being. The decoding is not lost on us as her clever pulls and pushes of light and hue, atmosphere and texture, and the darkness of unexpected lines and flares of human impact jarringly interrupt the natural elements.
Susie uses traditional oil on linen or board, which she prepares herself. ‘It’s almost like summoning the ghosts of masters past,’ she says. ‘The process of preparing a canvas can take up to four months. Preparing boards is similar but not quite as long. I make my own gesso from a traditional recipe of rabbit skin glue and chalk. I regularly venture out into the landscape to observe and make sketches. Then I draw up a brief plan. I tend to work in series and will work on all paintings at once. It is frenzied and intense and I live for it.’
Susie’s new work incorporates a more urban theme. ‘It is a union between the wonders of nature and the constructions of man,’ she says.
Susie 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.