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Award Winner Showcases Sculptural Art

Award Winner Showcases Sculptural Art

Magpie finds conjure up domestic disharmony in works exhibited by David Fine Memorial Scholarship winner Susan Mabin at the Hastings Community Arts Centre.

A Bachelor of Visual Arts and Design student, Susan is focused mainly on sculpture in this final year of her EIT ideaschool degree. The theme for her Unhinged exhibition, running from 4-16 August, is a disquieting exploration of the psychological and emotional aftermath when communications go awry within the domestic setting.

The hunting and gathering of materials is an integral part of Susan’s creative process.

Her works combine figurative elements, found objects and recycled building materials – “metaphors for physical and mental spaces of domestic intensity”. She believes these discovered items resonate with echoes of their past lives and that these are carried over into the new – “the past and present become linked in unforeseen ways”.

In her ideaschool studio, Susan has two spaces – one for her hoarded materials and another for where she works.

“I constantly move between the two, picking up materials and seeing if I can work with them. I will start with an idea but it changes as I make it. I like that. There’s a constant play with form and I just use what feels right.”

Fashioning clay to create the figurative element in her works, Susan draws from her stockpile of recycled building materials, found objects and bits of second-hand furniture, adding them to the ceramic pieces.

“I love the surprises you get as well and how in the process of making, the materials used often come together in ways that end up saying more than you ever imagined.”

Last year, the Hastings Community Arts Centre’s trust awarded Susan the David Fine scholarship for creative and academic achievement. The scholarship, honouring the memory of this enthusiastic supporter of the centre, has provided $2500 towards her final-year fees at EIT plus the opportunity for this exhibition.

Born and raised in Central Hawke’s Bay, Susan wasn’t encouraged to pursue an interest in arts in her final years at school. Leaving home to train as nurse, she later travelled, married and raised a family before returning to Hawke’s Bay to study art.

A fast worker drawn to various art media, she has worked in ceramics and says she will always paint. However sculpture remains her main interest.

While she also works as a practice nurse, Susan is determined never to let her art practice go again.

She has invited other Level 7 visual arts and design students to put work into the exhibition. Some of that, together with Susan’s own work, will be for sale.


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