16 Hour Summer Solstice Drawing. 2017
Light Summer Rain. 2017
Created using one of Susan Kruse's Drawing Devices in response to an instruction given during the "Instructions for Humans Exhibition". Image courtesy Pete Ashton 2017
Susan Kruse works outside in the landscape, crafting a personal visual language through direct interventions with environmental forces.
Working primarily with drawing she also uses sound, video and photography to investigate and reveal the hidden marks made by natural phenomena. Using lo-tech and digital drawing devices she captures the traces of human movement in the landscape as well as documenting the physical forces; rain, wind and temperature that impact upon and help form it.
“I have become more and more interested in the drawings created by random and seemingly chaotic processes, from the patterns formed by falling rain, to the infinite variations of marks made by suspending drawing tools in the wind. I am attempting to make visible the mathematics that underpin the fabric of reality.”
Through her ongoing visual investigations into natural phenomena Kruse has become increasingly aware of the effects of climate change and sees her practice as “bearing witness to the environmental tragedy unfolding now.”
Her current project AuT Crone sees her travelling nomadically for 6-8 months, recording her body’s functioning through digital devices carried and worn on or in her body.
Kruse has exhibited work both in the UK and abroad; including Deviant Art Festival (DAFT) in Trollhatten, Sweden, the Swansea Fringe, Hida Takayama Museum of Art, Japan, Shape Arts Pop-up, London, and various artists’ book festivals.
Conversations With Weather, Dartington Space Gallery, Totnes (2019)
Solstice, Width of Circle Gallery, Stourbridge (2018)
United We Stand, Shape Arts Open, London (2017)
Weather Paintings, Shape Arts, Westfield Gallery, London (2015)
Nest, made by a bookworm that has just digested a copy of Gormenghast, Bessant Gallery, Wolverhampton University, Wolverhampton (2012)
Nestbooks, Strange Attractors, Leicester (2011)
Homage to the Goddess, St Mary Magdalene Church, Woodstock (2008)
Time At Hogchester Arts
Residency period - May 2018
"The residency at Hogchester formed the start of a 7 month research and development project that I am working on this year. The Arts Council funded project, "Drawn", is an opportunity for me to think about and develop my practice with a special emphasis on developing the digital and technological side of my work.
I came to Hogchester without too may preconceived ideas about what I was going to do and so I was able to explore and connect with the landscape very intimately, allowing myself to relax and let ideas bubble up like the little streams and rivulets crisscrossing the land there. I had however, come armed with tools. I had a video camera, sound recorder, pens, paper and maps. For the first couple of days I was mostly documenting the landscape around me and thinking about my practice in the coming months.
One of the projects I am developing as part of Drawn is an investigation into people’s experience of moving through landscapes; trying to identify and trace how landscape affects people emotionally and finding ways of representing this experience through drawings.
At Hogchester, while I was thinking about this project I became fascinated by the narrow, purposeful paths made by animals, domestic and wild, that crisscross the fields there. Watching Hogchester’s goats I could see that these paths are made and followed with repetitive determination; on the whole, the goats walked quite specifically along these paths and didn’t just wander randomly across the landscape. This is a phenomenon that I have noticed in sheep fields and in my own garden, where a fox makes her nightly rounds along a path that is now permanently worn into the lawn.
I was really keen to make work about these paths and carefully walked many of them.
The residency at Hogchester was tremendously helpful. It gave me space and time to think and also threw up challenges that I could not meet at the time, but that generated new avenues to walk down (metaphorically) when I came back to my own studio.
Being in the landscape at Hogchester also helped to re-visit thoughts I have had in the past about art as spiritual practice. This is something that had been very important to me, but that had been become a bit lost in the years that I have been living and working in a large city. The peace and quiet at Hogchester opened up a space for reflection and calm. The silence and the daily engagement with the beauty of the trees and landscape at Hogchester enabled me to re-connect with the side of my practice that comes out of a certain spirituality and meditation practice." Susan Kruse