"I can not think of space without people, and people without space." - Susanne Kerr
Susanne Kerr’s work is driven by a desire to understand the contradictions inherent in being human, which in turn permeate our lived experience of the world. “In attempting to understand the nature of the world I inhabit and observe, I examine the myths, lies and truths of the social world in my paintings, and how the legacies of the past actively inform the experiences and analysis of the present”.
Opposites are engaged in her paintings; the innocuous and sinister, the hidden and revealed, weakness and strength, the twisted and humorous. The physical fragility of Kerr’s works, as well as her use of scale, repetition, and space, serve to heighten the viewer’s experience of this discord. Conscious and unconscious narratives are purposefully left ambiguous, forcing the viewer to interpret the works through the lens of their own experiences.
In 2012, Susanne Kerr completed her residency as Waiheke Island Artist and subsequently created a series of work resulting in a sell-out exhibition at FHE Galleries, and the Zinni Douglas Merit Award in the Walker and Hall Waiheke Art Award. T.J McNamara of the New Zealand Herald described the work as ‘imaginative, tense, and witty’.
Kerr’s large-scale gouache paintings have been included in a various prestigious art awards, including the Wallace Art Award (People’s Choice) and the NZ Painting and Printmaking Award (Merit).
I am intrigued and inspired by the physical and linguistic expressions that bind us to one another or keep us apart, and the spaces that are settings for or reminders of those interactions - spaces of crisis, deviance, exclusion, loss, love, confusion, and ignorance.