Susan Gathercole

Susan Gathercole RCA was born in Glasgow in 1962. She graduated in Fine Art from Liverpool in 1984, and was invited to join the Royal Cambrian Academy in 2016. She has lived near Llanberis for nearly 30 years.

"My pictures suggest a story, and the objects depicted - household jugs, mugs and bowls, seashells, fruit, feathers and flowers - all hold some vivid memory, meaning or feeling for me, and I hope to convey some of that to the viewer.

Collecting the ephemera featured in the pictures is an important part of making the work. Whatever’s growing in the garden; beachcombing at Dinas Dinlle; treasure-hunting for tea cups in charity shops; gifts from friends; mementos from travels to Scottish islands, Norwegian villages and French Alps; visits to galleries and studios for pieces by local ceramicists.

Latterly, various figures have begun to appear in my work. These are all part of an intuitive response to the natural world, imaginings, feelings and memories.

Encouraged by creative parents, I have drawn and painted since childhood. Growing up in Conwy, my mother’s beautiful sketchbooks (she studied art at Liverpool in the 1950ies) were a fundamental source of stimulation. My sister, Gill Gathercole is also a practising artist, and great inspiration. Other powerful influences include Mary Fedden, Winifred Nicholson and Mary Newcomb.

"I use irregular perspectives to give a broad, lyrical feeling to the subjects I’m exploring. I work mainly on paper, in gouache, etched into with a metal point, then worked over in soft, highly pigmented hand-rolled chalk pastels and inks."