I have decided to feature this artist, as she produces a line of work, which is aesthetically pleasing in its own very unique way – it does not pretend to be what one would normally define as cute or beautiful. It has a tactile character, which really says something via its stiches.
Who is she?
Her career pathway is one to note, as it shows that it doesn’t matter how long it takes us to find the right skill path for us. She studies ceramics and was a practicing artist using this method for many years – she even exhibited worldwide, reaching places like japan.
Based in Glasgow, she creates mixed media 3D textile pieces, which generally centre around animal themes. They are not your perfect cutesy, all sewn up with the correct stitch pieces. They are one off Nameless Wonders (her title not mine).
Where have we seen her work in the past?
I’ve seen her work published in books before (check this one out), but I had no idea the size of her pieces or even what they would feel like. The answer? Ornament size, not too big, not to small…..oh and pretty tactile, the sort of work you just have to touch.
How the artist themselves describes their work…
I feel that this comment from the artist herself really explains the mind behind the work:
‘When I decided to change medium I discovered that textiles presented me with a huge range of possibilities for expressing new ideas that I had not found when working with clay. I find it allows me much greater freedom to work through ideas rapidly, and it seems more naturally suited to my desire to be more responsive to the materials I work with. As a consequence, the work is able to take on a sense of vitality and immediacy that is central to my intentions.‘
Given that she began her career in Ceramics and then moved into Textiles. Maybe that’s why she works 3D? This prior career has obviously shaped her work in style and in inspiration sources, for example one of her collections is based around Staffordshire pottery, brought out in a Textiles form.
Her recent works are just as colourful as always, often she collaborates with other makers too.
On a final note, what we like about Karen Suzuki’s work is its ability to jest and create a smile. It cheers us, yet still holds a little form of the macabre.
have you been inspired by Karen Suzuki’s work? If so, why not check out this book review which features her work? It may be one to add to your collection.