Monday, 28 July 2008

Susan Collis


The oyster’s our world
2004
81.3 x 38 x 58 cm
Wooden stepladder, mother of pearl, shell, coral, fresh water pearl, cultured pearls, white opal, diamond


100% Cotton
2004
160 x 45 cm
Boiler suit, embroidery thread

Made good (DETAIL)
Length 27 cm
Coral, black onyx, 18 carat white gold (hallmarked), diamond, silver. Edition of 10


Collis' practice involves a subversion of time frame and visual perception through the manipulation of everyday objects. In the piece 'Paint Job', what initially seems like a collection of careless splashes and stains upon the fabric of utilitarian worker's overalls are, on closer inspection, meticulously stitched marks replicating the accidental and spontaneous moment. Further to this, Collis enjoys playfully positioning the works in overlooked areas of an exhibition space, to heighten the potential for an initial misreading. We, the viewer, are then forced to rewire our visual and mental understanding of a particular mark, thus elegantly extending our viewing experience
Photos and text from the Seventeen Gallery


Susan Collis’s work isn’t easy to spot. However, a few moments spent observing the leaning broom, the paint-spattered table, the grubby dust sheet, should have clarified matters. Those specks of paint were painstakingly inlaid mother-of-pearl and black diamonds; the droplets of grot, minutely embroidered silk. Collis’s work takes time, not just for her, for viewers, too. More here

Anyone who knows me, will be aware that I am in love with old school house furniture like this. The fact that such utilitarian pieces have been afforded such exquisite inlay is a bonus.
I am lucky that I have acquired some great pieces over the years such as old step ladders, stools, trellis tables and plan chests. Sadly due to Emin's tyrannical house rules much of it remains at school, but to have it is to love it.