Susan Mabin is a truly contemporary artist, working successfully in a wide variety of media including digital, installation, paint, photography as well as sculpture.
In her sculpture practice, Susan has been working with ideas such as metaphor with materials, simplifying figurative form, and creating the plinths for the figures as part of the work. This led to an interest in plinths and monuments. Reminders of places, events, heroes, heroines, or heroic deeds (all questionable, depending on who erected the monument). Monuments are meant to remind us of the past, and help us to understand the present and look to the future. Susan is more interested in representing the ordinary everyday person than the aggrandised ‘hero’.
She enjoys capturing the essence of an emotion with a facial expression and a shift in the position of the head on the body form.
“When I make these works, I carry on working with the figure, until the piece makes me feel ‘something’. There is some planning in the beginning along with the knowledge of the materials that I am using, but within that knowledge, I like to allow the unplanned things to happen which gives me (and hopefully the viewer) that ‘something’ that doesn’t require words but is about responding to visual feeling.”
Susan uses and embeds found objects, recycled and readymade materials, often casting the concrete plinths in things as simple as a cardboard box. She doesn’t measure anything …or use a level, the methodology is a metaphor for the un-monumentality of, the normality of, and the imperfectness of day to day humanness.