Susie Mendelsson

Susie Mendelsson As an artist I have always been intrigued by representations of the human figure: dolls and effigies from around the world, mannequins, gargoyles, misericords and pew poppy heads, paintings by such as Bosch, Ensor, Breugel and the German expressionists. I am particularly drawn to the work of Outsider artists.

Much of my own work is motivated by an exploration of personal memories and the expression of psychological states of trauma and anxiety. Though the sources of my imagery are often autobiographical, my work communicates universal concerns and emotions, especially from a woman's perspective.

Most recently I have been collecting used and discarded dolls which I then dismember and reassemble placing them in new configurations. Rather than make a conscious effort to arrive at a particular end-product, my process has become more the focus of my work so the act of 'play' has become a priority.

Inevitably whatever is in my subconscious surfaces and manifests itself in the finished piece. This seems like a more valuable and honest way for me to work. The journey into the unknown ends up being an investigation into what makes us human.

The discarded dolls embody so much their own past and private history which has been abandoned by their owners. I can then enhance and draw this past out by reconfiguration and distortion. Perhaps it is this act which allows me to take back control — something that I have very little of as a child.

I used to work mainly in two dimensions (paint, relief printing, drawing, collage, etc.), and always with paper. My love of paper remains and I continue to use it extensively in my 3D work.

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my CV  >

Read an interview with me from the June 2017 edition of Woodbridge magazine. >

read an essay about my work by Sanda Miller  >

read 'Artspace' articles  >