‘Close Up’ - Artist Focus is a series of interviews with featured artists, together with a capsule look at their work.

Close Up - Artist Focus, Susie Alexander image

© 1 Clota divine cleanser from the Celtic triple Goddess

21st September 2020

Close Up, an Artist Focus series.

Nairn -based artist Susie Alexander. Her work featured as the 'face' of our online festival. Susie doesn't have a website but would love to welcome visitors to her studio. Please contact her at 01667 454 004 if you'd like to arrange a socially distanced visit.

1 Clota, divine cleanser from The Celtic triple goddess the Matronnae

2 The Veils of Time

3 Beyond the vanishing point

4 Never was there a time when I did not see

   Even in the darkness before the beginning
   I saw the light of being


5 Macha,  mother of creation from the Celtic matronnae

6  Ruah - the breath of God moved upon the face of the waters

6 Where white birds cry a presence

7 The Root becomes the Tree

8 Beyond the Horizon

Can you tell us a bit about yourself and your background?
My first vocation and experience as principal dancer with Royal Ballet and director/ choreographer of my own youth dance company still underpins my work and indeed, whole way of life. But after a serious illness and a powerful spiritual experience I knew I had to return, like a salmon to the land of my birth (1935), Scotland. I just didn't anticipate it would be via India, Russia and the Isles of Dogs, Wight and Iona. ( 7 year Children's project The Rainbow Tree)

What would you say are the main themes, ideas or concepts that influence and drive your work?
The stitched folk art and the creative education for so called poor children that I became deeply involved with in India led to my own narrative embroideries. The language of textiles is a universal language without borders.

Which creative processes/skills/ materials underpin your work and how have they evolved over time?
As a hand spinner my own yarns and silk threads played a vital role in my work and I believe I inherited a feel for the cloth from my linen weaving ancestors of Dunfermline.
My work is the expression of my spiritual journey which is continually unfolding in
miraculous and mysterious ways. According to the Ming Tapestries they all lead back to the place we began, the Mingdom.

How has your work evolved over time and where do you envision this evolving in the future?
Linking with poetry, especially the inspirational, Scot Kenneth White.

Which aspects of the creative process do you enjoy the most and why?
Colour, texture, fabrics and the hidden stories they reveal.

What response would you hope to evoke in the person engaging with your work?
That it will touch the heart.

Have you encountered challenges or limitations in your creative practice or career and how have you sought to overcome them?
Macular degeneration . I discovered different ways of stitching through water colour painting which I now include in my work.

Is your work influenced by any arts movement, artist style or practice?
My work is totally original and is influenced by my own life experience.