Dr Susan Edith Barnet

Profile image of Associate Lecturer

Associate Lecturer

Central Saint Martins, Chelsea and Camberwell


Dr Barnet is an internationally exhibiting artist previously based in Los Angeles, now a Research Fellow at Birmingham City University and an Associate Lecturer teaching at Central St. Martins and Chelsea and Camberwell Colleges of Art. 

Barnet works across film, performance and installations to create intimate visual essays on everyday pursuits. Her recent project involving Mass Observation, the British movement begun in the early 20th century, employed archive materials towards re-appropriation and détournement. Encompassing multiple outputs, from filmed performances to daily tweeting, extensive transcription to the creation of drawings, it was the subject of two exhibits at Five Years Gallery, London. 

The work has been included in Drawing and Other Writing, published by The Everyday Press, and PEER paper notes issue 3. It has also been written about in poetics journal TRIPWIRE 11 out of Oakland, California. Currently, Barnet is taking part in the UAL cross-college collaboration between faculty and students, Radical ReThink, hosting an international symposium at the ICA in January 2017.

Research interests

Language, narrative, memory, witness, everyday, collection, archive.

Research statement

My attention lies with the overlooked and obsolete aspects of daily life from collected reflections on personal experience.

Within the framework of contemporary art practice and theory, my work engages with distancing as a means of drawing nearer. Presenting the paradox that remoteness can produce proximity, a process is revealed that exposes previously hidden connections and associations – to oneself, to a place, to another. This process, employing the language of memory, allows for a defamiliarization where new understandings may emerge. 

My aim is to explore these ever-shifting understandings and to offer an examination of the act of witnessing. I strive to unpack the complications of subjective experience through the re-telling of remembered occurrences, memories that manifest through stories and that engage the interplay and inconsistency of language and naming. If the contemporary age is one where the fluid nature of singular remembrances easily overlaps with cultural memories, how do we come to know each other, and ourselves, in this landscape?

Project awards, and grants

2014, The Artist’s Information Company, New Collaborations Bursary, London, UK.

2013, Florence Trust, one-year artist residency, London, UK.

2012, Banner Repeater, Reader in Residence, London, UK.

Selected research outputs

  • Almost Writing

    Barnet, SE and Čavić, Ana and Minkin, Louisa and Morfill, Sally (2016) Almost Writing. In: Drawing and Other Writing. The Everyday Press, London. ISBN 978-0-9933728-0-3