Susan Acheson

Working in many art forms and inspired by the energies of nature, Sue's art practice reflects the bush around her home, using marks which accentuate the light and shadow created by natural forces.

Most of my life has been as a graphic designer and creative director in advertising and marketing, with a brief time in the 1980’s training then working in ceramics. I then returned to work in the graphics industry, and ran my own company for seven years until arriving in Australia in November 2002.

For just over three years I was apprenticed at Robert Barron’s Gooseneck Pottery, which enabled me to learn from his vast experience and experience a thriving and exciting working pottery.

In 2007, after buying a bush block and building a house in Rokeby, West Gippsland, I started to set up my own studio and then build a wood fired kiln. The first firing was in 2009, and I was set to start investigating what it was that I really wanted to create. Many firings later and I am still exploring the same question, but have realised that it is always an exploration - there is never an answer. And I am happy with that!

My works are made in response to the environment around my studio and my many trips into the bush. I am greatly affected by the light at early morning and late evening - the long strong shadows through trees, casting lines of dark and light across the landscape.

This has influenced the marks that I make on my ceramic pieces, which are graphic representations of the patterns I see on the land. These marks are enhanced by the wood firing process, when ash catches in the indentations on my work, and highlights the sharper edges. The clay and glazes change inside the kiln, guided by the wood and the firing process, but nature is the one in control.

I enjoy both aspects of my work - the functional and the sculptural, and am finding that the lines between them are starting to blur as they influence each other. I love making everyday pottery because it gives me great pleasure to be able to use the work of other potters in my daily life, and I would like to give that same pleasure to others. And the sculptural work fulfils a deeper intellectual need to comment on society.

Over the past few years I have started wood carving on a grand scale, expanding on the same principles of my ceramic work, often joining the two mediums together in large sculptural pieces in public spaces. They are often inspired by society and comments on the way we live.

Working with other artists, I am collaborating and expanding my skills, enabling me to be more flexible in my mediums, using materials as a means to a creative solution. I am active in other art projects in the community, am part of the Baw Baw Arts Alliance, and have served 5 years on the Arts and Cultural Advisory Committee to Baw Baw Shire.

One of my passions is to expand the role of the Arts for the health and well being of our community.

About Our Member

Member Type: individual
Art Form: Community Arts

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