susan west

original art – paintings, ceramics, digital, photographs

artist statement

I have a continuous need to investigate and experiment which drives my passion for ceramics. I see my work as an exploration beyond traditional shapes in the direction of contemporary art and the interplay of controlling a process or letting serendipity determine the results. My degree in chemistry informs the controlling part of glazing and surface treatment while the kiln and firing atmosphere provides chaotic more natural surfaces. The later reflects my interested in surface texture and colour of natural aged, decayed and weathered surfaces.  Along a similar line, I find natural shapes that are not entirely regular more interesting.

Ceramic Inspirations: Barry Stedman, Craig Underhill, Robin Welch and Nicholas Marsh

My paintings and digital prints explore the space between, perhaps overly reproduced, public sculptures and monuments and their surroundings. I am concerned with the shapes objects make in relation to one another so familiar objects might end up in the peripheral rather than central as per the conventional norm. Semi-abstract in nature, my work again demonstrates my passion for textural exploration. The lines in my digitally abstracted photographs are recreating the single continuous lines my drawing teacher exhorted us to use, and I often include textures or images from the surrounding area to give more of an atmosphere.

Painting Inspirations: John Piper, Frank Auerbach, Ivon Hitchens, David Tress and Jackson Pollock.

EXHIBITIONS  (for those underlined the work was selected by an independent panel of judges)

May2018: rope sculpture in Artspace’s exhibition ‘Into the Outwoods’, Outwoods

April-June: ceramics in Artspace’s ‘Layers and Edges’, Charnwood Museum, Loughborough

June 2017: Odyssey to Stamford, Stamford

November 2017: LSA annual exhibition, New Walk Gallery, Leicester

May-August 2016:  Artspace’s ‘Reflection, Charnwood Museum, Loughborough

November 2016: LSA annual exhibition, New Walk Gallery, Leicester

May 2015: Artspace’s Beyond Words, Sock Gallery, Loughborough

May 2015: Rutland Open, Oakham

May 2015: Artspace at The Curve, Leicester

July-Sept 2013: Artspace’s ‘Down to Earth’, Charnwood Museum, Loughborough

May-June 2012: Artspace’s ‘Gold’, Sock Gallery, Loughborough Town Hall

April 2012: Artspace’s ‘Metamorphosis’, The Wall, New Walk Gallery, Leicester

December 2011: Open 23 at the New Walk Gallery, Leicester

December 2011: Derby Open

April-June 2011: Artspace’s ‘Birdsong’, Charnwood Museum, Loughborough

November 2010: Open 22 at the New Walk Gallery, Leicester

October 2010: Artspace’s ‘On the Edge’, the Mark Parker Gallery, Shepshed

September 2010: London Lives finalist, Bankside Gallery, London

Several dates 2010: Nottingham Society of Artists exhibitions.

May 2010: Artspace’s ‘Passions and Influences’, Nottingham Society of Artists

September 2009: Artspace’s ‘Passions and Influences’, Eltham College, London

March 2009: ‘Make Space for Artspace’ at Nottingham Society of Artists

December 2008: Derby Open

December 2008: Catmose Open

June 2008: ‘Artspace the Bigger Picture’,  Charnwood Museum, Loughborough.

Easter 2008: ‘Artspace in Miniature’, Charnwood Museum

October 2007:  Nottingham Open, Angel Row Gallery

October 2007: Artspace’s ‘New Horizons’, James France building, Loughborough University

Easter 2007: Artspace’s ‘2 by 2’, Charnwood Museum

December 2006: Artspace’s exhibition at the City Gallery Leicester

November 2006: Postcard exhibition at the Surface Gallery, Nottingham

November 2006: Leicester City Gallery Open

October 2006: Nottingham Castle Open in which I won the Berryman prize.

July 2006: Artspace’s ‘On Reflection’, Generator gallery, Loughborough University

December 2005: Artspace’s exhibition at the City Gallery Leicester.

December 2005: Nottingham Castle Open

October 2005: Artspace’s exhibition in Venice, concurrent with the Biennale.

Autumn 2005: ‘Hidden Treasures’, the Depot Leicester, & Hinkley Library.

September 2005: ‘Artspace at the Mill’ in Ashby

Spring 2005: Artspace’s ‘Open Space’, the Charnwood Museum.

February 2005: ‘Feral’ at the Picture House, Leicester

Christmas 2004: Leicester City Gallery’s sixteenth open

August 2004: Ticknall (Derbyshire) annual exhibition.

July 2004: Artspace’s ‘I Spy’, Generator Gallery, Loughborough University

Christmas 2003: Leicester City Gallery’s fifteenth open

August 2003: Ticknall (Derbyshire) annual exhibition

August 2001: Ticknall (Derbyshire) annual exhibition

(Artspace is a group of mainly graduate artists who live in the Loughborough area.)


1998             Btech Diploma in Foundation Studies in Art and Design, Loughborough College of Art and Design

1985             PhD Photographic Science, Polytechnic of Central London

1979             BA(hons) Chemistry, Somerville College, Oxford University