The ground paintings reveal a sculptural physicality that embody a porcelain-like tacit strength and fragility.
Gunn explores an original technique of building layers of gesso, incorporating a gelatine binder with natural earth and mineral pigments and base substances such as chalk, coal, and marble dust. Cracks and fissures, typically considered a defect in the gesso surface, are induced in the work that are beyond the artists control.
She describes her art as… " A pre-occupation with the process of provoking accidents during the stages of making the work… I subsequently perform, in essence, a semiotic action of retrieval by mending and repairing the damage. The main cracks in the works appear during the drying stages and secondary scrapes and nuances are the consequence of the repairing act. They betray the vigour of the rubbing and polishing action. I believe it to be an expression of spirit, vulnerability and survival.
The absence of imagery allows a pure meditation of the surface and material as a poesis, in the fundamental sense, a movement of coming into thought of the process of making.
"In Gunn’s paintings there is a subtle tension between the golden section formalism of their geometry and the unruliness of the free-form cracking. They each balance control and abandon, deliberation and chance. This is not the frivolous feminine but the ferocious one, celebrating healing from trauma and taking up space, unapologetically…majestically. Her visceral, loaded work has the monochromatic discipline of Robert Ryman and the meticulous abstraction of Callum Innes"
Curator Cherry Smyth
Susan Gunn is represented by the bo.lee gallery, her studio is based in Greater Manchester. She recieved international recognition when she won the Sovereign European Art Prize and was formerly mentored by the artist Callum Innes.
Gunn studied at Bolton School of Art and Norwich University of the Arts where she gained a first class Honours degree in Fine Art Painting. She has exhibited widely and held a number of solo and group exhibitions at venues including Norwich Castle Museum and Art Gallery, the Norwich University of the Arts, Rollo Contemporary, The Fine Art Society, Bo.lee gallery, and the Royal Academy.
Her work is held in a number of public and private collections around the world including the China Academy of Art Museum, the Madison Museum of Fine Art, USA, the Sainsbury Collection at the Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts (University of east Anglia), the East Anglian Art Collection (University of Suffolk), the Sovereign Art Foundation, and the The Yale Centre For British Art in the USA.
In 2018 Susan held a solo exhibition Ground: Evolution at HOME gallery, the show was curated by Art Director Bren O'Callaghan and her work was selected for the Royal Academy's 250 yr Anniversary Summer Show.
In 2019 Gunn’s work will travel to The National Museum in Gdańsk for an exhibition; Made In Britain, 82 Painters of the 21st Century, curated by Robert Priseman, Anna McNay, Małgorzata Taraszkiewicz-Zwolicka and Małgorzata Ruszkowska-Macur.
Artwork Atelier 2017