Susan Venable

Artist Statement

For thirty years I have manipulated texture, shadows, color, and luminosity in the studio. My work is non-objective in approach – an exploration of structure, surface, technique and materials. The stacked steel grids are “woven” with thousands of luminous copper wires, and often juxtaposed with encaustic paintings. These unique, multi-dimensional works are poised somewhere between painting and sculpture, incorporating the core of both disciplines, yet eluding a definitive label.

My exploration is on a perceptual level….to elicit an abstract response from the viewer. Not to recall a specific place or object, but to allow the viewer to be open in their personal interpretation and reveal their imagination. Archaeology, rituals, repetition, ruins, magic, and the art of indigenous societies, all inform my creative process. A strong link to ancient cultures is my use of copper, one of the earliest known substances used in art. Both the steel and the copper have been chosen for their properties, both real and symbolic, of strength, fire, and permanence. In keeping with my environmental concerns, my metals are all fabricated of recycled material.

The craftsmanship, or evidence of the hand, is a critical element of my work. Used with an authentic and honest approach, and moving each piece toward poetically articulating the structural skeleton and the surface. Working with rigid steel , thousands of prickly copper wires, and molten wax, the ideas transform the materials into emotional and serene works, skirting the edge of minimalism and textural complexity….a paradox in itself…..and a major theme in my work.