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Sue Brown

Sue Brown has been a professional artist for 15 years. Her work is inspired by nature and been driven by exploring intaglio printmaking techniques. Sue has specialised in collagraph techniques, a process which involves making a collage combining tile cement, carborundum and found textures. After sealing the surface with varnish, the plate is inked and printed using an etching press. The technique provides intaglio prints with deeply textural surfaces.

Sue continues to make collagraph prints but alongside her printmaking she is experimenting with enamel application, combining digital and screen printed transfers with sifted and wet enamel on both copper and steel substrates. Sue also likes to add ready-made objects to her pieces.

The work on steel spoons and steel moths around domes are inspired by our emotional response to swarms and inundations of insect life. We are inspired and intrigued by insects in their natural habitat, but when we encounter them in our domestic environment we become unnerved. Sue describes this contradiction using repurposed ready-made objects, steel fabrication and enamel and she enjoys the contrast between the industrial enamelled steel and the delicate glass of the domes. We usual house museum exhibits of moths under glass, safely housed, are these moths trying to get back in? Would we use a spoon that moths have alighted upon?

The enamel Lost Relatives pieces were initially inspired by the photographs we all have in our family albums of people we cannot name and will never be able to name because our link with that family history is now broken. The work has developed further with the addition of postcard messages to imply a narrative, messages and greetings that might not be theirs, but could have been. Messages on the backs of postcards are not great works of literature, sometimes not even legible, but they are messages from one person to another, early forms of text messaging if you will. These messages come from postcards dated from 1909- 14, when there would have been 2 posts a day and was a quick way to pass on a message when the majority of people did not have domestic telephones. If we consider literature to be a form of communication, postcard messages are a very humble form of literature. The lost relatives give a face to these lost messages.

The whimsical Ladies and Gentlemen can be worn as brooches or displayed as small decorative figures. These characters are inspired by the potter Grayson Perry's alter ego, Claire. Sue also acknowledges the influences of the artists, Caroline Mc Catty, Teesha Moore and Julie Arkell. Sue sees wearing these figures as a modern take on the ancient tradition in most cultures around the world of wearing dolls for protection, and good luck.


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