Susan Nemeth

Australia
b. 1957
Living and working in the UK 

"Signs of fragility, vulnerability and individuality are exposed in the handmade object. My ceramics investigate how rapid sketching becomes more animate and anthropomorphic with repetition and how this translates into sculptures of pottery."

Susan Nemeth’s work explores the notion of the pot as a relic, womb or container and through this exploration, themes within her work are revealed; the opening may be an orifice or a wound while the belly is exposed as a swollen, bulging paunch above a long, narrow stem, which emphasises insecurity. Porcelain is chosen for its purity, sensitivity and paradoxical qualities of fragility and strength as well as its movement during firing. Surfaces are painted with layers of coloured slip to form a skin-like membrane, while digitally printed ceramic transfers, together with glaze and gold leaf on the final forms, allude to the material’s illustrious history.

Susan Nemeth’s references include early European porcelains of Meissen and Sèvres however, for her, these symbols of perfection eliminate the mark of the maker and so in disrupting, simplifying and transforming

objects with an imperfect touch, she creates a essential caricature and exposes a raw rudeness. The sources for her still life works are the distorted, decaying, bawdy fruits of Luis Meléndez, the compositions of Jean-Baptiste-Siméon Chardin and the painterly qualities of Paul Gauguin.

Born in Australia, Susan Nemeth now lives and works in London.

She has exhibited widely in Europe, The US and Asia and her work is in a number of public and private collections including the City Museum and Art Gallery, Stoke-on-Trent; the Ulster Museum, Belfast and the University of Wales.


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