Ground Formation Study, 2012. Linseed oil, wax, natural earth pigment & gesso on canvas & board. 56 x 56 x 4 cm
Gunn’s ground paintings reveal a sculptural physicality that embody a tacit strength and fragility.
The paintings are a tense fusion of history and innovation combined with a modernist aesthetic. The process involves a traditional technique. She builds surfaces made from layers of gesso, incorporating natural earth and mineral pigments and base substances such as chalk, coal and marble dust.
Distinguishing cracks and fissures, typically considered a defect in the gesso surface, are induced in the work that are beyond the artists control.
The absence of imagery allows a pure meditation of the surface and material as a poesis, in the fundamental sense, a movement of coming into thought of the process of making.
Honest splits and fissures, some of which go through to the base of the canvas, provoke an appreciation 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.
Susan Gunn graduated from Norwich University of the Arts and was mentored by Callum Innes.
She has exhibited widely and featured in a number of solo and group exhibitions at venues including Norwich Castle Museum and Art Gallery, the Komechack Gallery Chicago,The Manchester Contemporary, and The Fine Art Society, London.
Recent exhibitions include the Contemporary Masters From Britain touring museums in China; in conjunction with the priseman-Seabrook Collection during which she undertook a Gesso Masterclass and residency at the China Academy of Art, Hangzhou.
She most recently exhibited in the group show Natures Alchemy at BoLee Gallery, London. Gunn is currently working towards a solo exhibition at ‘Home’ Manchester opening in May 2018.