The beautiful man

The beautiful man

Friday, 21 October 2011

The Harley Gallery

A mixture of Frailties-Susie Macmurray 2004 (image from
Thanks to Sarah Burgess from the MA I had heard of a talk occurring at The Harley Gallery Worksop, featuring one of my favourite artists Susie Macmurray and the Curator from the Yorkshire Sculpture Park Sarah Coulson. I wasn't sure if I could make it but the opportunity was too great and to listen to Susie talk of the development of her artist practice was well worth the many lost twists and turns getting there and back!

Widow - Susie Macmurray

Whenever you listen to someone one has admired it is interesting how one conjures up an image of what they will be like, Susie Macmurray was an unassuming individual yet she had a presence and was very open in discussing her work and its origins. 'Temporary versus Permanent' is the link that goes through her work, I found her comments on not finding her sense of place at Art College pertinent, that it was only on leaving and getting the opportunity to site her work in specific locations that a sense of context was found. the first work was filling the loft of a mill with white feathers - Stratum

Stratum (Image from
 The serendipity of curators seeing this piece and then commissioning other works from Susie highlighted the need to keep trying and have work in a range of places and persevere. When talking about the project at Pallant House Museum - Shell, the sourcing of mussel shells, cleaning and preparing them, the lining of walls to glue gun them in place, the sheer physicality of the work and the collaborative process, yet a purity in the work. When a designer asked to purchase the work as a whole to be put in their house Macmurray refused, as she disliked the idea of possessing the whole and the work would be wrong out of its place and out of context. Yet the idea of sharing the work with a wider audience by offering small parts in box frames once the work was taken down had more provenance.

If this has been inspiring I would highly recommend further exploration, the next project Susie is looking to explore is  videoing the dropping of the glass piece 'Here come the girls' which was exhibited at Manchester Art Gallery in 2010 and showing the results as a slow motion film.

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