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Louise Sunnucks

Contemporary Artist 

To Squint: To look at something with one or both eyes closed, in an attempt to see more clearly.


Louise Sunnucks has a multi-disciplinary practice that has an ongoing concern with recording the experience of fleeting temporal moments; the over-looked, intangible and discarded. Capturing a memory of the ephemeral prior to it being lost or forgotten. This is rooted in the process of observation, being sensitive to subtle patterns of change that occur in environments or objects. These ideas are translated in her practice through a process of re-enacting these natural phenomena through material qualities that allow her to slow down perception and re-define our means of looking.

Within her multi-disciplinary practice, drawing and painting play a central role. Employing different media in painting such as oils, acrylics and wax to construct a delicate sense of surface. Paint is applied in layers, one surface building from another, whilst the transparent wax and glazes reflect the temporality of the subject-matter. In the graphite and charcoal drawings, she both applies and erases the material, in a process of removal as addition, using mark making as a tool to explore physical memory through materials. The accumulated information is collated and flattened into a compressed picture plane and patina in order to fossilise memory. These processes result in an open-ended and more abstracted response rather than a literalised depiction


Her site-specific installations respond to location and history. In the works conceived for 'Crepuscular' and 'A Grand Day Out', the materials Sunnucks used created ghost images which are 'indicators of absence', connecting the past to the present. Her work at 'Frayed at the Edge' is an exploration of family myth and false memory prompted by the location's own complex story. For the installation 'Infusion' at the Tea Gallery she created props using tea, willow patterns, bricks and a crowbar; juxtaposing materials which signified the impending eradication of the building's history. The installation pieces rely on hand-crafted objects to enable the story-telling about the sites, tapping into her arts and crafts background.

Her new paintings retain the sense of movement and pattern that underlie the natural order of the world. The images produced, capture a sense of flux or transition which seemingly random or chaotic occurrences create in observed surfaces or natural phenomena. These surfaces are actually hard-wired with underlying patterns and structures.

Her current practice is an ongoing exploration of natural surfaces that feel universal in that they are things that anyone may see but go unspoken or un-acknowledged.

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