Terra Memoria
Thursday 01 Oct 2015

Susan Gunn comments, “I was particularly drawn to the atrium space and the natural light emanating from the Memorial Gardens, a conservation area situated beyond The Enterprise Centre. I chose to record the idea of offset vertical divisions in the canvas to reflect the rhythm and sway of the tree lined gardens opposite. The work echoes the historic gardens and is a monument to nature and the ethos of the project ”

Gunn uses natural earth pigments and an authentic glue binder to make paintings that explore and develop the material of traditionally made gesso. It is unusually resilient and fragile and used in an innovative way to create a series of disruptions in the surface. Cracks, fissures, and accidental nuances appear in the works that rupture the surface of the painting to the base of the canvas; they are engineered but ultimately beyond the final control of the artist.

Historically cracks appearing in newly made gesso are regarded as defects, “entirely undesirable” according to the art historian Ralph Mayer. Gunn welcomes these marks as distinguishing characteristics in the works, rendering each piece unique. Her paintings evoke associating references of control and chance, they embrace the beauty of the flawed and generate an understanding and appreciation of a new modernism, form and aesthetic.

Ben Humphries, Director at Architype, the project’s architectural firm, praises the installation saying “It has been straightforward, inspiring and collaborative working with artist Susan Gunn for a major art installation to celebrate the new Enterprise Centre at the University of East Anglia. The iconic artwork and concept mirror the ambitious remit of building an innovative low carbon and bio-renewable building in the 21st century. The work is beautifully sympathetic to the ethos of the project, using sustainable and natural materials to celebrate the coming together of ambition, architecture and art.”