Susan Trangmar

Profile image of Reader in fine art Co-convenor of sensingsite research group

Reader in fine art Co-convenor of sensingsite research group

Central Saint Martins


Susan studied BA Hons Sculpture at Saint Martins School of Art (Now Central Saint Martins). She was a Rome Scholar at the British School at Rome in 1996 and was shortlisted for the European Photography Prize in 1998. She was appointed AHRB Research Fellow in Creative and Performing Arts in 2000 and has received grants from the Arts Council England, AHRC, British Council, Henry Moore Fellowship and London Arts Board. Her work has been exhibited since the early 1980s both in the UK and internationally including Biennales in Israel, Greece and Estonia. She is a member of Land2 Research Group.

At CSM she currently supervises and examines PhD students, has organized a number of practice based research seminars and is currently co-convenor of the PhD research event series, sensingsite. She also works on the MA Fine Art, bridging two levels of postgraduate study.

Research interests

Photographic, moving image and sound installations exploring practices of space and temporality and theories of duration in relation to landscape and place. Post-Darwinian nature- culture relationships. Urban Imaginary; practices of everyday life and public space.  Intertextuality and poetics of representation.

Research statement

Trangmar's early training in sculpture and photography has developed into a practice exploring the production of landscape, place and site through lens based practices, projection, sound and text.

She has worked with issues of the practice of space and experiences of temporality in contexts of lived places, architectural sites and landscapes both urban and rural to produce mixed media installations and performative events. The place of research within her arts practice is developed through an understanding of the process of work as an organic, ongoing 'construction site' in which source material is recomposed and re-materialised for different contexts and audiences. Text based performative readings combine text and image to expand the potential of the research event as itself a valuable site of art practice

Questions of intersubjective identification and the relation of belonging to representations of landscape in a region of contested territory, have been explored through research methods of walking, conversational acts and visual framing to produce a series of performance/ projection installations in the commissioned project A Question of Distance.

The complex entanglement of the relations between human inhabitation, energy production, climate and natural environment  in the region of Romney Marsh, Kent, have been researched through an AHRC funded project Shifting Terrains which has given rise to a number of lens based, sound artworks and conference papers. These works address representations of temporality and spatiality and issues of materiality. The project has developed to include the text based moving image work Lunar Tides which reflects upon the relationship between the moon and the earth over time, which affects the ocean tides.

A Play in Time publication includes essays by Rebecca Drew, David A. Mellor, Claire MacDonald and an interview with the artist.

Trangmar's interest in the possibilities of text/image assemblages through performative readings in dialogue with the moving image has resulted in: A Divided Glance: An Oblique Dialogue Between the Photographic Project ‘A Forest of Signs’ and the Figure of the Tree in the Writing of Virginia Woolf.

'Wandering Shards' a text and moving image based work expands the essay form to investigate the transformative potential of 'waste' material (osteo-fossils) associated with the foreshore of the River Thames at Greenwich. These objects are considered as material energies which combining with the powers of river tides, foreshore environs, writing and camera constitute a relational assemblage. The varying forms of presentation propose the 'site' of the artwork as itself a durational practice of place.

Trangmar is currently working on a commissioned moving image work to co-incide with the centenary of the Battle of the Somme 1916, which relects upon discontinuity of experience, the intertwining of personal and collective memory and forgetting, and the absorption of past materials through the vitality of the lived landscape of the present.


Current students and thesis titles

Eva Bensasson, Collective Urban Memory – Art & Fictional Histories.

Fagner Bibiano Alves, Out of Sight: Investigating Perverse Desire Through Photographic Practice.

Andrea Muendelein, Shifting territories and the place of encounter: representation of the stranger in contemporary photography.

Completed students and thesis titles

Katja Hock, ‘The Body in the Institutionalised Space: An Investigation of the Place of the Individual in the Modern Hospital through a Photographic Practice which refers to German Photographic Discourses’.

Dean Kelland, 'Flawed Masculinities: Rupturing British TV Sitcom Via a Performance Led Interdisciplinary Arts Practice'.

Selected research outputs