Sue Thomas warned me that I’d be mesmerised by Susan Reddrop’s stunning aqua blue eyes. She got that right! I’ve never seen eyes that colour before in my life…beautiful. Then there’s her work. Above, a piece called ‘Mirage’, exhibited in the enormous fireplace in the Barn at Montsalvat last year…magnificent. Then there’s the interesting conversation we had in the loft of her studio, covering topics such as creativity, child birth, menopause, criminology and feminism…stimulating. Her studio is a converted stable- so typically full of Montsalvat character.
Susan says that she’s always known she was a sculptor, though she began her working life with an interest in criminology. After years in that field, she spent twelve months backpacking in Europe, where she was inspired by art everywhere. She saw people making a living doing art and came home determined to make sculpting into a career. She was accepted into sculpture at the VCA and later did a glass elective at Monash Uni. She can now add honours to her string of achievements and is currently working on her Masters. The work that you see here and the residency at Montsalvat are testament to her success.
Susan encourages people to touch her work and interact with it. She recognises and enjoys people’s tactile fascination with sculpture.
The beeswax models that follow will be cast and then made in glass. Susan is very interested in the old machinery at Montsalvat.
These casts have been prepared for Susan’s upcoming exhibition at MARS gallery in Port Melbourne in May. It won’t have escaped your notice, that Susan is in the third trimester of a pregnancy (with her second child). She has allowed this experience to inform her work. Her new exhibition focuses on the power of women at the moment of childbirth. A bold and brave exploration in glass. I can’t wait to see it! I’ve had a little sneak preview of pics of the work. It’s so exciting to see an artist who has been able to combine motherhood with creating works of art. In this case, the resulting work speaks to a central experience in many women’s lives. Be prepared to be challenged…in the very best possible way.
I’m hoping to do a follow up on that exhibition in May.