“Again there was a knock on the door…
With her face and hair dripping, with
her petticoat bodice unbuttoned, she
ran and opened it.”
Exert from The Swing of the Pendulum (1911) By Katherine Mansfield
Susan Wilson was born in Dunedin in 1951 and raised in the remote South Island High Country, before moving to Auckland at the age of twelve. After being expelled from Teachers’ College, in 1975 she graduated with distinction as a Registered Nurse. In 1976 she traveled via Latin America to England to begin her art education. While studying at the Camberwell School of Art and Crafts (now called the Camberwell College of Arts) and later at the Royal Academy, she established a significant reputation as a painter of landscape, still life and portraiture and received several awards, including an Italian Government Scholarship to travel to Venice an the Richard Ford Award to travel to Madrid.
Susan subsequently established a career in art education, working in some of Britain’s most prestigious art schools. She has taught at the Chelsea School of Art, Wolverhampton University, the Winchester School of Art, the Royal College of Art and the Royal Academy Schools. She has also led workshops at Tate Britain, and in 1999 a tutor on an MA lecture tour around Spain, Australians Studying Abroad. Since 1981 Susan has exhibited at the Royal Academy Summer Show numerous times and has featured in many group shows at venues such as Beverley Knowles, London. She has also held major solo exhibitions in both England and New Zealand.
In 2000 Susan completed a series of paintings for a millennium publication of Katherine Mansfield’s short stories for The Folio Society, which was shown in London and at Jonathan Grant Galleries in 2003. Susan’s more recent paintings focus on her continued love of travel, celebrating the people, objects, colours and landscapes that she has encountered. Though she is constantly adding to her eclectic collection of subject matter, Susan remains faithful to her original painting principles, continuing to focus on capturing, distilling and expressing the vitality, vivacity and elegant beauty that can be found in all objects and occurrences of everyday life through canvases that are richly contoured, coloured and textured.
Susan’s works are represented in numerous collections around Europe, including those of HRH The Prince of Wales, the National Trust, Cambridge University and the Comune di Castel San Vincenzo in Italy. In New Zealand her works are held in, amongst many others, the collections of Air New Zealand, the Auckland War Memorial Museum and the Todd Foundation.
The extensive number of exhibitions that Susan has participated in around the world, combined with her numerous solo shows, are testament to this artist’s enduring talent for procuring unique canvases of lively variety and delightful charm.