Sue Corr is a printmaker, photographer and artists bookmaker. She has been involved with various projects, collaborations and exhibitions both nationally and internationally in Columbia, Quebec, Colorado, Australia, Paris and Edinburgh, Manchester and Glasgow.
What drives your passion – when did you know that art is what you wanted to do?
An innate craving from within just to make and create. The joy of that moment when something connects and spontaneously works. And an absolute love of art itself combined with a deep-seated desire to succeed.
I knew when I was 15 and I went for an interview to Rochester School of Art with one A4 drawing! I ended up in London at college doing window display, hated it and longed to be upstairs in St Martins College of Art which was housed in the same building.
How did you get where you are now in your career?
Years of fine art study, sheer hard work and determination. Obtaining an MA and a PGCE. Renting studios, running workshops and attending workshops to fine-tune skills. Working as Chair on a steering committee to create open studios for Conwy County, Wales, this is now a massive organisation covering five counties. Networking. Gaining awards; Start-up Business Award, Professional Development Award, Research and Development Project Award, (for a collaboration).
The most lucrative and rewarding award has been a three-month residency through Wales Arts International and CALQ in Quebec City. The fruit of which bore two consecutive working trips to Quebec, and producing collaborative work in Wales, Scotland and Quebec with a Quebecois artist. I was also invited to show in a group exhibition, ‘26th Salon de L’Estampe Contemporaine’, in Paris and ‘Dialogue’, at Edinburgh Printmakers with Engramme.
What do you make and what are the ideas behind what you make?
I am very much a process-based artist. This means that the materials dictate the practice. For instance, objects collected from the beach could be drawn and/or used to draw with or perhaps incorporated into a book. Work becomes a synthesis of my actions with the objects and materials I come into contact with.
I draw, sometimes in an unconventional and it would seem controversial manner, produce prints through woodcut, monoprint, collagraph and etching, I am very lucky to own a printing press and also create artists books, quite sculptural in their appearance.
What inspires you?
Walking on the land and seashore, swimming in the sea all year round, visiting exhibitions, a new found love of writing poetry, especially pop haiku which I use in my work.
The elements: engaging with the elements, utilising the energy of the wind to draw, a turquoise wave, clear and transparent on the Isle of Lewis, the snow to create a print, ‘Fresh Snow Has Fallen’ and the artist book, ‘The Snow Book’.
Reading. For the Paris show, I made a series of prints based on a short story by Charlotte Perkins Gilman called ‘The Yellow Wallpaper’, using drawings created from dance and wallpaper samples to print from.
Going about with my camera capturing little close up vignettes that many people pass by.
Where do you work? What is your average working day
Because my working places and practice are so diverse I don’t have an average working day. I’m either out at the beach catching the wind to draw – gathering beach detritus to use in the studio or carrying out various tasks to make prints or create books.
I work in where ever my studio happens to be. I had a wonderful studio and gallery space in North Wales a while back and then a studio with Wasps in South Block, Glasgow for three years and since then I have become somewhat of a nomad. Working at the Wasps studio in Newburgh, Fife, in the Cromarty Arts Trust space and most recently in the Moray Art Centre Studios. One thing is constant in the studio upon arrival, I always make a cup of tea and grandly procrastinate before I can start work.
What are you working on now?
Having just been reunited with my wonderful press I am about to start printing again, currently researching various ways to emboss successfully. And there is a new project in the pipeline, Catching the Wind (working title).
I am investigating the way we see and feel the weather. This is a project devoted to circumstance, surrender, intention and dialogue. An experiential simplicity of the process of feeling one’s environment.
In what way does being in Scotland influence your work?
I have had a deep, profound connection with Scotland, its sea, lochs and mountains from a very young age and since been constantly drawn here. I have a very romantic notion of sailing on the ferries to the islands and its music and absolutely love it.
It was in Cromarty as a visiting artist that I started to reconnect with the sea and land here and my work practice started to flourish again. And of course being up here in the stunning Highlands is perfect to feed my passion for snow and ice as a source for the work.
Feature image: Sue Corr, Forage, woodcut, emboss, monoprint, litho, digital, chine-colle