Artist Statement

Collaged and quilted sculpture? I’ve been creating it for over 20 years, and if you attend my open studio in October, you can experience it for yourself. In addition to motorized pieces from my cloth circus (lights, action, sound!), you will see a lot of new work. And as a special treat this year, I am hosting my good friend Janet Fine, whose image-based mixed-media work plays very well with mine. In honor of the occasion, we are showing a collaborative piece that we’ve wanted to make for years.

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, bed) 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

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