ARTISTS WE LOVE: Susan Baird
We are so happy that Susan Baird got to almost finish her real time exhibition just before lockdown hit and in case you missed it, you can still view online at Sydney’s Arthouse Gallery.
‘Susan Baird creates poetic paintings that capture the essence of Australian environments. Often created en plein air, her works canvass the vicissitudes of the natural world, springing as much from physical topographies as they do from psychological, emotional and spiritual affiliations. Vibrant strokes of colour, swift brushwork and suggested forms conjure a kind of optic memory, evoking the sensations of form, shape, light and colour that have inspired generations of artists. Consciously harnessing liminal or ‘in between’ moments – when the sun retreats behind a cloud, when the wind caresses the trees or a pool of light at the day’s end – Baird’s paintings channel the artist’s harmonic awareness of the rhythms of nature.’ – Arthouse Gallery
Summer Moon, Susan Baird
A decade ago, Baird first made the artists pilgrimage to the remote community of Hill End in Central New South Wales. This former gold mining town is an infinitely fertile fount of inspiration for many artists and Baird has continued to return to this place to capture her landscape muse.
Baird’s newest body of work, ‘Where the light falls’, emerged from a year which saw her stop and observe the unfolding narrative ‘of this place’ through her studio windows. The paintings in this collection, predominately created en plein air, canvass this rich historical context as it is transformed by light. Vibrant strokes of colour, swift brushwork and suggested forms conjure layers of atmosphere built over months, and evocative of a multitude of seasons.
Top: Pink Glow / Above: Interior World
‘Echos of memories, heard clear in the light of day, recede with the fading sun reduced to the faintest whisper.’
– SUSAN BAIRD
The view from here, Susan Baird
For us the real fascination of Baird’s work lies in her unique stylistic approach, a canny mix of and tension between traditional and contemporary. Each work feels like a glimpse in motion, a capture of fleeting life that seems to ask of the viewer – stop and take the time to truly see (and smell and feel).
Alongside an exuberant pallet that hints more at Parisian impressionism than Aussie bush, Baird’s knifed marks of layered paint magic in a strength that counters perfectly her soft candy hues, creating something atmospheric, sun drenched and deeply authentic. Wildly so.
Baird has been the recipient of a number of residencies and been selected as a finalist in numerous awards including the Calleen Art Award, Paddington Art Prize and Mosman Art Prize. Her work is held in major national and international collections as well as private and corporate collections in Australia, New Zealand and the USA.
---View Susan’s latest exhibition ‘Where the light falls’ at Arthouse Gallery
Listen to Susan talk about her work here