Susie Green graduated from the MA Fine Art course at Chelsea. She is an artist who works across a broad range of media. Her recent solo exhibition at Jerwood Space, London was comprised of architectural scale paintings and framed works on paper alongside sound and sculptural works. These, when brought together, questioned and celebrated ornamentation, intimacy and sexual pleasure. We chatted with her to find out more about her work and her time at Chelsea.
Why did you choose London, and particularly Chelsea to study your MA?
I had been living and working in Newcastle upon Tyne since studying and graduating from my BA in Fine Art there in 2002. Although I’d had a very positive, culturally rich time living there, I was curious to experience living and working in London to contextualise my work within a much larger, international context, and was under the impression that if you lived in London it was a sign of ‘making it’ as an artist. I also felt that studying at Chelsea would look good on my CV. I had heard good things about the course at Chelsea and was drawn to studying and working at a college where artists I admired had also studied, including Helen Chadwick, Kim Coleman and Mariko Mori. After graduating I moved back to Newcastle upon Tyne but visit London regularly.
What was your favourite thing about Chelsea?
The people I met whilst studying and the central location next to Tate Britain was great!
You work across a broad range of practices, has this been a conscious decision?
I have made the conscious decision to try and make work in my own voice, in a way that feels right for me, and this is across mediums. It’s taken a while for me to feel comfortable with working across painting, performance and sculpture, and is often hard to manage the different types of workloads associated with these varying mediums, but I’m confident that my work is marrying together nicely now.
How did you develop your style of work and what are your influences?
It’s hard to say how I developed my style. I guess I just keep my inspirations and my visions for my work in mind as best I can and follow them through to the result that feels right. My style is a reflection on my personality and what I love or find frustrating about Contemporary Art. I am influenced by a number of artists too long to list, friends and peers working during this time of my life, my environment, my relationships, fashion, weird objects in life. Lots!
What has been your proudest moment since you finished studying?
I was pretty happy to be selected for New Contemporaries in 2009, the year I graduated. I have had lots of proud moments since then, not just in regards to my own work and achievements, but also in regards to the success and motivation of close friends of mine who are artists or creative practitioners. Being an artist is extremely difficult, and often testing career path, so I feel extremely proud of those who are still managing to make their own work.
What is next for you?
I recently performed with one of my collaborators, artist Simon Bayliss as part of Groundwork Festival, Falmouth. We make music together under the name Splash Addict and played at an event alongside artist Martin Creed. In October 2018 we are presenting an audio work at Outpost Gallery as part of their annual members show, this year selected by The White Pube. It’s been a busy year, where I have had 3 solo exhibitions in the UK, firstly at Grand Union, Birmingham, then at Workplace, Gateshead and most recently, a solo presentation at Jerwood Space, London. I’m now concentrating on enjoying making new work, reflecting on this time of activity, and planting seeds that will hopefully come to fruition in 2019.
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