Susie Lowndes was born in Adelaide, South Australia but spent her childhood living between the Gold Coast and the UK. At various times her family moved to England (where her parents were from) and she schooled in both places. Life in England seemed to be of stark contrast to Australia.
Perhaps as a result of this dual existence, a fascination with dichotomies and an engagement of opposition has been a consistent theme throughout the work of S.Lowndes. The exploration of the dual existence of a particular state of being, a set of beliefs or aesthetic, alongside its antithesis: the idea that one requires its direct opposite in order to exist has prevailed.
As an adult, she chose to move back to England from Australia and then eventually visited and settled in New Zealand. She has studied painting and fine art in Brisbane, London and Wellington and now resides in the foothills of the Kaikoura Ranges.
She has exhibited in Brisbane, London, Auckland and Wellington.
Dichotomy: something with seemingly contradictory qualities.
Through studies in Brisbane and London, my earlier work seeks to achieve a level of technical competency and is thorough in its exploration of the western conventions of painting. The work aims to engage the viewer through its representative, emotive and technical qualities and focuses on the individual, animal or nature.
Between 2014 and 2017, after receiving a postgraduate scholarship to further my fine art studies, I sought polarity and the work has evolved markedly. Instead of working within the Western conventions of painting, born largely from the Renaissance period, the notion of anti-vision is explored and paint was utilised as material only. It no longer had the job of representation.
The conventions of representation, realism, composition and perspective were ignored. The idea that a painting consists of an identifiable figure or object painted upon a ground is removed and atmospheric depth has been eradicated. In fact, the strongest endeavour to embark upon the exploration of the antithesis of these conventions has been realised. There is no reference to anything outside of the work and meaning lies only within the work. The resulting ambiguity invites the viewer to engage in the process of trying to unravel and make sense of how the work was created. There is no longer an obvious timeline to the painting process, that is, background painted, a mark or figure placed on top, but instead figure and ground are in a state of flux and are constantly shifting. They become one another. Figure, shape or line, is created not by painting upon an existing surface but is produced by ruptures within the surface. Painting is, at this point, no longer an aesthetic pursuit, but an intellectual one. It no longer seeks to represent nature but explores the cultural notion of challenging what has been before.
In order to reach the realisation of this current work, a contradistinction has been made to previous learnings and these works can only exist because of them.
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