Susan Waters


My 3-dimensional work focuses on elements of the natural world which are often overlooked and undervalued and so aims to encourage people to question this and to develop an enhanced perception of their environment. I like to make people think by triggering their emotions through texture and smell and perhaps make them smile. I wanted to portray the seaside differently from 'the blue sky, sea and sand' image. I try to express some of its beauty and diversity while I worry how we abuse this vast environment. I have recycled natural materials which are themselves stimulating and fundamental to my work. Their origin, the sea shore, and the authenticity of the materials I use have the potency to unlock the past. I present evocative opposites, the most consistent being attraction and revulsion, pain and pleasure. Bikinis and deckchairs are icons of leisure and pleasure whilst the materials I make them from, seaweed and fish skins, arouse feelings of revulsion and discomfort. They bring into question what one values and why. I make dresses and hats from fish skins which some find repulsive and others beautiful. Lifejackets combine the horror of death with the fun of living. I have more recently varied the use of materials to include garden products, for example deckchairs made of thorns and bikinis made of petals representing pain and pleasure of gardening. This has lead on to my latest project which traces our Rights of Passage from birth to death, each marked by gifts of flowers. It celebrates the part played by flowers in a woman's life and is interwoven with a theme on the Ages of Woman celebrating the changing shape of a woman's body throughout her life. The sculptured garments enfold a void for the visitor to imagine inhabiting. read full statement

Location Alnwick, North East
Activities Workshops, Arts in health, Participatory projects, Gallery education, Marketing/communications, Evaluation