W&N materials used
Artists' Oil Colour
About Susan Sluglett
Susan Sluglett is one of three artists selected for the 2013 Jerwood Painting Fellowships. Mentors and selectors of this programme include Marcus Harvey, Mali Morris RA and Fabian Peake. As a member of this fellowship, Susan received a bursary of £10,000 and one year of critical and professional development support from Marcus Harvey. The Fellowship year enabled each artist to develop a body of new work which was exhibited in a group show as part of the Jerwood Visual Arts programme at Jerwood Space, London, in March 2013. A UK Tour will follow, starting with BayArt, Cardiff 20 July – 24 August 2013. Aberystwyth Arts Centre, 18 January – 1 March 2014. The tour will finish with an exhibition at The Gallery at NUA, Norwich University of the Arts, Norwich 11 March – 5 April 2014.
During her BA in Fine Art Painting at Wimbledon college of Art (2005-08) Susan was awarded the Prunella Clough Scholarship and more recently, she has exhibited in the following shows: Surface, Griffin Gallery, London (2012). Double Trouble, Blyth Gallery, Imperial College, London (2010). Today, Susan also manages ‘New Narratives with Collage’, a workshop for students and staff at Imperial College, London.
Susan Sluglett 's Work
In this latest body of work, Susan describes it as having created an arbitrary mythology, "I associate this reverie with narrative and creating characters. If a character reveals its fragility I am also interested in its opposite state, which might be its strength. As with a medieval carnival, ordinary human beings are raised to the status of kings and queens, while kings and queens are demoted to that of ordinary folk. Satirising a royal wedding with its surrounding rituals provides the springboard for a discussion on human nature, power and relationships."
Susan's gestural and expressive paintings can be anything from bawdy, brutal and dark, yet paradoxically they are also loaded with an undercurrent of humour. Susan says, "In this raucous circus of culture the beautiful, comic, carnivalesque and grotesque all co-exist and are knowingly played out with the contradictory light-heartedness and violence of a cartoon."
What led you to your current direction in art?
Dissatisfaction with my ‘day job’ and a leap of faith into a second round of art education led me to my passion for the materiality of paint.
What's a typical session in your studio like?
I tend to work on several paintings at once. Working on one painting invariably leads to thoughts about other paintings lined up waiting, ‘in the wings’. I prefer to have large quantities of paint ready, so when I’m working the act of painting is more immediate with less time to ‘stutter’.
What's the most important advice you've been given about art?
George Blacklock when he was head at Wimbledon College of Art and I was a first year student said you need three things to be an artist: ‘persistence, persistence, persistence’. His words are very relevant at the moment, as it wasn’t the first but the second attempt at applying for the Jerwood Painting Fellowship that proved to be successful for me.
How do you define success as an artist?
My aim is always to make a piece of work that is a surprise to myself in someway. I’m not interested in conclusiveness. Maybe success has more to do with new beginnings.
What piece of art has had the most profound influence on you?
Big Night Down the Drain painted by Georg Basiltz in 1963 is a poignant reminder that great art is somehow more shocking when it is made in opposition to the preoccupations of a given time. Artists in the early 60’s were being seduced by the formal qualities of abstraction. At this same moment Baselitz chose to paint with ruthless savagery, human flesh in the shape of a portrait of Adolf Hitler.
What's your favourite Winsor & Newton colour?
This is not so much a favourite, more an essential ingredient; I always have large amounts of fast drying Underpainting White at the studio, as it allows me to work fast.
What caused you to choose your current medium of (oil, acrylic, spray, marker, etc.)?
I paint in oils because there is always a surprise element to the material. You are always making decisions when you paint. How fat, how thin, how dry, how slippery, everything is a decision. Oil paint gives you all that and so much more.
Susan Sluglett uses Winsor & Newton because
it is of a professional quality that is always reliable and well priced
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