Artist Statement

Who says you can’t motorize a quilt? Or make it into sculpture? I’ve been doing just that for over 20 years, and if you attend my open studio in October, you will see a 10-part moving circus made of collaged and quilted cloth, complete with flashing lights and audio. Come watch the carousel revolve, hear the calliope, read the neon sign, and see if you can figure out the joke. I will show a host of other pieces as well as the circus, both old favorites and new work.

My sculpture is evocative and brilliantly colored. Green and purple figures take you out of this world, but their very human gestures anchor them tightly in our own reality. Some of the pieces are funny, others are poignant, and I hope that all of them make you think. I often call my work “stealth art”: the comforting quality of quilted cloth draws viewers in, where they are confronted by the paradoxical complexities and challenges of living in today’s world. It’s a visual feast with a lot of complicated story-telling going on.

I feel that my job as an artist is to make you feel and see multiple aspects of the world at once, merging opposite impulses into a united visual whole. A loving couple made of cloth bones embraces, a brilliant acrobat leaps from a trapeze to confront a parrot on a birdcage swing, a woman wearing a xeriscape hairdo harbors a memory of a lush, damp landscape inside her head. In my latest series, Heirlooms, I have created domestic objects (house, rocking chair, bowl, garden, bureau) out of bones. At this stage of my life, I’m thinking a lot about the effect of previous generations on our lives, and the meaning of the objects and ideas they pass on to us.

My work has developed as part of the art quilt movement, but I am one of the few artists making figurative sculpture in collaged and quilted cloth. I use cloth to create an alternate universe, and the resulting work is full of contradictions: it is whimsical, edgy, mundane, surreal, and engaging, all at once. Though each piece tells a story, the narrative is always open to interpretation. The power and beauty of the patterned surface play off the form and content of the work, and the result is a dynamic seesaw of meanings and possibilities.

Come and experience my universe!

 

Location

126 Escalona Drive, Santa Cruz, CA, USA

Video
Phone
831-227-0373
Email
selse@pacbell.net
Website
http://www.susanelse.com
Shop here
http://www.susanelse.com