Susan Gunn - Carmine....Notes for Hangzhou I
Encaustic wax, natural earth, mineral pigment, gelatin binder & gesso on recycled handmade paper.
Contemporary painter, Manchester, UK
Ground: "Where Are We Now?" (David Bowie)Linseed oil, encaustic wax, natural earth pigment & gesso on canvas & board
Ground FormationLinseed oil, wax, natural earth pigment, ground coal & Gesso di Bologna on canvas & board
57 x 57cm
Noir Divided Ground Study IBeeswax, natural earth pigment and gesso on canvas and board
About the Artist
“To sense the soul, without words, and to depict this sensation; this is what led me to monochrome painting”
Yves Klein 1960
Susan Gunn’s Ground paintings reveal a sculptural physicality that embody a tacit strength and fragility.
Her practice is concerned with the phenomenological idea of painting and the repetitive technique of layering gesso on canvas. Gunn works with, natural earth and mineral pigments, and base substances such as chalk, coal, and marble dust. She is interested in the history, origins, and anthropology of colour and naturally occurring materials.
The ground's that survive the play of materiality and process are held together in a broken state of suspension.
Aspects of Japanese Aesthetics and Zen philosophy are a source of inspiration. Natural occurring flaws in the material are retained to convey an authenticity and a realisation of the beauty of imperfection: Conveying the idea that the mending of the broken and damaged provoke a sense of ‘pathos’ and an acceptance of loss, impermanence and flux.
Her paintings are a contemporary monument to the history of the materials, the 'objet petit' of memory, and painting itself.
Gunn has made a number of works in response to a specific site or place, with an awareness of light source and its ability to change and liven the surface of the works teasing out subtle nuances and a sense of the ephemeral and sublime.
She studied at Bolton School of Art in the mid 1980’s and Norwich University of the Arts where she gained a first class Honours degree in Fine Art Painting.
In 2005 she was nominated for an Arts Council ‘Escalator’ Award to support talented artists in East of England. This included professional and creative support including a series of mentoring sessions with acclaimed artist, Callum Innes.
Gunn gained international recognition when she was awarded the Sovereign European Art Prize in 2006
Gunn was shortlisted for the Greater Manchester Arts Prize in 2016 and was one of the prize winners of the Greater Manchester Art Prize 2017.
She has exhibited widely and has had a number of significant solo and group exhibitions at venues including Norwich Castle Museum and Art Gallery, the Norwich University of the Arts, East Gallery, Bonhams, Rollo Contemporary, the Crypt at St Marylebone, London, the Portico, Manchester, and The Fine Art Society, London
Gunn works from her studio space at Artwork Atelier, HOME Manchester.
She has work in a number of public and private collections around the world including the China Academy of Art Museum, Hanzhou, the Madison Museum of Fine Art, USA, the Sainsbury Collection at Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts, and the Priseman-Seabrook Collection.
She is a member of Castlefield Gallery Artists Association and a council member of Contemporary British Painting - a UK, artist led organisation formed to explore and promote critical context and dialogue in current painting practice through solo and group exhibitions; talks and publications.