As good as it gets (Detail)
18 carat white gold (hallmarked), white sapphire, turquoise, onyx
160 x 45 cm
Boiler suit, embroidery thread
127.5 x 37 x 11 cm
Wooden broom, opals, turquoise, garnets, seed pearls, mother of pearl, black diamonds, white diamonds, fresh water pearls, coral, black onyx, marcasite.
above works by susan collis.
i am excited beyond words to see this show open at the lora reynolds gallery here in austin. in susan's work the seemingly forgotten or easily overlooked is a labor of love and is, actually, the artwork on view. one may think when walking into a gallery displaying susan's work that the artwork has yet to arrive. this flirtation with what is art or what is on view is just the stream of thought susan chases and fully captures. the seemingly splattered paint on fabric or pencil line and hardware denoting the space where a piece of art work would hang is actually tediously hand stitched details on a pair of overalls or strategically placed and inlaid white gold wire and a carved coral grommet.
i enjoy the dance between using materials that are precious and mimic completely average, mundane materials with a material that one would expect. susan's pieces that seem laden with dribbled paint like the construction broom or the table piece are actually precious materials like inlaid opal, turquoise & mother of pearl. i use a similar vein of logic, but in reverse, in my work. rather than using the precious materials like gold and diamonds in my jewelry i am inspired by the every day and typically discarded materials of everyday that have a previous history or story. some materials may be a found piece of plastic from a busy street or a fragment of glass from a car windshield. using the random and recycled materials in the context of jewelry i hope to offer viewers another voice to what is considered precious and beautiful. my hope is to evoke a bit of curiosity. this is what i love about susan's work, the element of seduction and surprise. upon first glance the instinct and expectation is one in the same, but with a bit of time and attention to detail you are given a broader story and in some ways a little secret.
this is my favorite show i have seen in austin to date. susan's show at the lora reynold's gallery is her first solo show here in the u.s. WelComE SuSan!!!!!!!