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Suzanne Bethell

Manchester, UK

About the Artist


Colour, its potential to excite the eye, engage the heart and awaken the soul is central to Suzanne’s art. Inspired by an emotional response to moments in time and a sense of place, she is interested in the power of colour to alter mood and mind-state. Her work is often joyful. Choice of palette and materials, like her process of making abstract art, is intuitive and experimental. As a contemporary painter and mono printmaker who enjoys combining these processes, she also creates assemblages from earlier artwork and found material.

Many of her recent paintings and assemblages involve reconstructing fragments of earlier work, evolving something new from the existing, reflecting a psychological process of reframing meanings in the light of current experience. This, Suzanne says, creates visual, temporal evidence of a natural process of self transformation as we review past understandings.

The work shown here includes a series of expressive, mixed media abstracts. Created during storms, windswept and calmer days, these pieces chart both internal, emotional states, responses to the energies of the elements and to nature’s Abundance. Evolving as a summation of reflective walks during the pandemic, Winter Walk celebrates nature’s powerful, rejuvenating qualities whilst Still, created over many months, conflates periods of meditative calm. Play Ground pays tribute to the joy of free play. In its creation, the canvas became the playground; its primary colours and shapes carry hints of a play park.

Fragments 2 allows significant motifs, resonant with memories, to emerge from earlier work whilst concurrently introducing new marks and collaged elements. In its process, each piece becomes an archeology of lived experience.

The Urban series of screenprints, is loosely inspired by architecturally exciting areas of Manchester such as New Islington and Ancoats, the nightlife and street art of the Northern Quarter. The spiralling marks a nod to street art whilst the collaged material makes reference to urban glass, steel facades and grills.

Earlier this year, Suzanne had a solo exhibition in the Granada Foundation galleries,
HOME, Manchester. Shortlisted with pieces from her Urban series for the national
printmaking Flourish Award in 2020, she was also a finalist at Manchester’s inaugural HOME open exhibition. Since her first solo exhibition at the Pankhurst Centre, Manchester in 1995 she has exhibited and sold work widely throughout the UK including at the Royal West of England Academy, Bristol, The Royal Scottish Academy, Edinburgh, The Hepworth Print Fair, The Manchester Art Fair with Hotbed Press. Her work is represented by the Porthminster Gallery, St Ives, Cornwall and is in private collections internationally and nationally including that of Sue and Colin Simpson.

An associate member of Castlefield Gallery, Manchester and Hotbed Press, Salford, she has a studio in Hallam Mill Stockport, overlooking Manchester’s skyline.
Graduating with a BA in English Literature from York University, Suzanne was largely self-taught until graduating with a distinction from a Foundation Degree in Art and Design in 2000, having taken a sabbatical from her lecturing role. In 2017-2019 she undertook a Complete Printmaker course with Hotbed Press, Salford.

Suzanne Bethell Bio pic.JPG

2020 Flourish shortlisted for National Printmaking Award with WYPW
2020 Finalist inaugural HOME exhibition, Manchester
2020/1 bOlder talent development programme for visual artists over 50 with Castlefield
Gallery, Manchester
Recent Exhibitions
2022 Warrington Contemporary Open
2022 Lucky Dip, Granada Foundation Galleries, HOME, Manchester (solo exhibition)
2022 Paper After All, Saul Hay Gallery & Royal Cambrian Gallery, Conway
2021 In Manchester, Saul Hay Gallery, Manchester
2021 RWA open, Bristol
2020 Mesh, The Pilcrow, Manchester (solo exhibition)
2020 HOME, Manchester (award finalist)
2020 Gala, Victoria Baths (online exhibition)
2020 Penwith Gallery St Ives
2019 Porthminster Gallery, Winter Show, St Ives
2019 Hepworth Print Fair, Wakefield
2019 Surface Gallery, Nottingham
2019 Springbank Arts, High peak
2019 Enso ,Waterside Arts, Greater Manchester (3 artists)

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