SUE HILEY HARRIS

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Sue Hiley Harris

Sue Hiley Harris is best known for the abstract handwoven sculptures she has been making since the late 1990s. These may be understood in relation to constructed abstract art genrerally, whether two or three dimensional. Material, structure and form are inter-dependent. The forms are often built on pure geometric shapes, repeated or as multiple parts of a complete work. Sometimes they are made in response to natural forms or to life’s continuous natural cycle. The bare upland landscape of the Black Mountains and the Brecon Beacons has, for many years, been important in Sue’s life and has made an impact on her weaving.

In 2013 Sue was awarded a Creative Wales Award by the Arts Council of Wales ‘to explore the possibility of making woven body sculpture’. As part of this exploration she returned to drawing the figure from life. This led to life study collages using cut or torn discarded life drawings.

More recently Sue has been actively drawing in the landscape. The drawings are a direct emotional response to a particular landscape or seascape. In the studio, working from the drawings, she abstracts specific land and seascapes creating thoughtful collages which show her interest in space, line and form as well as the properties of the materials used. Natural pigments, particularly indigo, local red earth and peat, mixed with an oil binding medium and painted on a heavy cotton paper provide the collage material.  The choice of natural pigments is not surprising as Sue is familiar with the practical use of natural dye stuffs to dye fibre, yarn and woven fabric.

Sue studied fine art at the Queensland College of Art in her home town of Brisbane, Australia. Since moving to Britain she has studied handloom weaving in Bradford and science with the Open University. She has exhibited and undertaken commissions both internationally and in the UK and has lectured and held workshops in Britain, Ireland, Australia and USA. Her work is in public collections in Wales, France and Italy. Sue has lived in Wales for over thirty years, first on the western side of the Black Mountains and, for the past twelve years, in the town of Brecon.

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