Qube Balcony Gallery this June:
Sue Owen – In Memory
Sue was born in Oswestry in 1960, and attended Art Foundation in Shrewsbury, before going to London as a young woman to study Textiles. She returned to creative expression after a long absence in the early 2000s, first attending an Access to Art course at City of Bristol College, and then HND Fine Art at the Bristol School of Art from 2003 to 2005.
At the Bristol School of Art she found an affinity with printmaking – this exhibition is a result of her learning and exploration of the process. Using a wide arrangement of tools for markmaking, Sue experimented with the interactions of mark and ink to create texture and mass; from veiled echoes of a forgotten past to weighted, formless darkness. She was inspired by nature, light, architecture, and her own interactions and place within this world.
Sue continued to work in printmaking following her studies, spending time at Spike Print Studio before setting up her own studio. She developed her understanding of monoprint and drypoint, and began working in collagraph and chine-collé, allowing her to break further away from line into a space created purely through layered mass. Though primarily monochromatic, Sue’s work demonstrates a sensitivity and awareness that allowed her to create with a broad spectrum of expression.
Sue became increasingly inspired by Chinese ink works, seeing a transparency and layering in the free flowing, lyrical line that she had not seen elsewhere. During this time she spent time with artist Peter Ford, learning the process of paper making. Sue was captivated by the fragility of the handmade surface – becoming as much a feature of the work as the printed image.
The work displayed here is a small window into Sue’s creative process, much of it unfinished to her. She thrived on the exploration and experimentation of the construction and breakdown of form. She would continue to develop and transform a single piece of work, time and time again. The signed and editioned pieces hanging here are works she considered finished, or at least that they had been through a journey enough to reflect her own personal journey.
Sue died in March 2016 at the age of 55 from anorexia. Although she could not overcome her lifelong disease, the later years of her life were her most creative. She was restless in her pursuit of understanding – reading, researching, observing, creating.