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Susan Collis (born 1956) is a British artist working in Hackney, London. She is known for crafting ordinary looking, everyday objects from valuable materials. In her approach to sculpture, Collins manages to elevate the mundane, celebrate traditional craft techniques, and encourage viewers to take second, closer looks.
Early life and education
Life and work
London-based sculptor Susan Collis uses a variety of techniques and strategies to investigate issues concerning interpretation, craft, value and labor. Everyday objects are presented etched, splattered and stained with marks of work, wear and tear. At first glance, the marks seem to be the accidental results of normal use, and as such seem meaningless and not worthy of examination. Collis is interested in the shift of perception that takes place upon discovery that they are, in fact, careful, intentional acts, and that the materials used are traditionally valued for their financial or decorative properties. A tired stepladder covered with paint drips from years of use has been simulated by the meticulous inlaying of diamonds, pearls, opals and other prized materials. A bucket catching a drip from the gallery ceiling may not be the result of neglect, rather a complex staging of pumps, water-tanks and false walls to artificially create the scenario. Typically works involve momentous amounts of often hidden labor to create an object that may easily go unnoticed, but is replete with value, be it material or conceptual. Much of Collis’ work can go unnoticed and this visual gamble results in a possible conceptual pay-off that rewards concerted investigation by the viewer.
Collis’s work has been exhibited at venues including Ikon in Birmingham, the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, the Christchurch Art Gallery in New Zealand, the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art in Massachusetts, the Zabludowicz Collection, and the Israel Museum in Jerusalem.
Notes and references
- 'Susan Collis: So it goes', Austin Chronicle, 1 July 2011
- Susan Collis, Seventeen Gallery
- Out of the Ordinary: Spectacular Craft, Victoria and Albert Museum, archived from the original on 2012-08-04
- V&A Out of the Ordinary: Spectacular Craft
- Extract from 'For all the things we thought we'd love forever' 2009 exhibit catalog: Conversation between Mackay Butcher, Cylena Simonds and Susan Collis.
- Meessen De Clercq Gallery: Works by Susan Collis.
- Prince, Nigel (2010). Tell me what you see. Birmingham: Ikon Gallery.
- Honoré, Vincent (2009-11-01). "An Interview with Susan Collis". 20 Hoxton Square.
- Milliard, Colline (2010-02-01). "The Hyperreal World of Susan Collis". Modern Painters.
- Shirley, Rosemary (2007). Don't get your hopes up. London: Seventeen.
- Carey-Kent, Paul (2007-12-01). "Frieze and its followers...". Art World.