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Susan Elliott
Archiving the cupboards and mantelpieces of a Nation

Susan Elliott lives and works in Hastings East Sussex. She trained as a textile designer  before going on to work as a community artist in London, painting large scale public murals. During this period she also learned mosaic making. It is this discipline that she has now embraced and made her own.
Susan uses recycled kitchen crockery and tourist mementos creating multi faceted, jewel- like images of popular culture often with a narrative of national identity, she expresses a sympathetic and fond deconstruction of British clichés. Because of the nature of the materials used, the viewing experience is one of discovery and recognition, as Susan describes, “It is like inspecting someone’s mantelpiece or going through their drawers.”
Susan’s work is currently exhibited regularly at Mauger Modern Art in Bath Somerset.

Describes her work as “Like archiving the cupboards and mantelpieces of a Nation.”

My work is made out of kitchen tea time crockery, kitsch tourist mementos, novelty mugs, badges, coins, the everyday stuff of domestic living. The materials I find when starting a new  piece, determine the sentiment or theme, as they are clipped, glued and grouted into a richly worked, multi faceted story within an iconic  image of popular culture. By using these tourist, gift mementos celebrating easy platitudes and sentiments, I aim to explore, revere and subvert the things we all believe to be a reflection of  National Identity. Ultimately my work is informed by the very language it seeks to subvert and becomes a new kitsch, a new statement of National Identity.


Punk London 2016 (to celebrate the 40th anniversary of punk rock)

An article on Susan's work for London Fashion Week, talking about her personal memories and key creative influences from the period. Punk London was a year long celebration of the phenomenon that was Punk Rock UK. For more on Punk London please follow the link below.


Etc Magazine January 2014 - by Charlotte Pearson.

Mosaics is more than just squares and smashing things, as one Hastings artist reveals to Charlotte Pearson.
When you think of mosaics the pictures that usually come to mind are of Roman or Greek floors as seen on school trips, garden decorations or squares of coloured stones.
Wish you were here
You are probably less likely to think of images of David Bowie, comic book-style superheroes or Kate Moss made from plates and mugs.
But this is exactly the type of thing Hastings artist Susan Elliott creates.
“I describe myself as a mosaic artist using recycled materials,” she says.
And those materials consist of ceramic kitchen crockery, tourist mementos, novelty mugs and badges.
The studio is full of boxes of mugs and plates, so many I’m worried one false move will cause the lot to topple.
“It’s fine if an item breaks, I can usually salvage something. But the way in which I work means I don’t smash, I clip,” Susanexplains. “It is a lot more controlled and precise as I am able to cut the kind of shapes I need for the piece.”
But there are hazards with clipping.
“I tend to cut or nick myself every day, but then every one of my pieces has a little bit of me or my DNA in them,” she smiles. “Once the piece is filed down, it’s fine.”
Having trained as a textile designer, Susan learned to mosaic with Free Form Art works in London.
Susan Studio
When she moved back to Hastings after having her first child Susanfound that working on mosaics was something she could fit around childcare.
“I was able to start something and then pick it up when I could,” she says.
Describing herself as an ‘awful hoarder’ much of her inspiration comes from the ceramics itself.
“I will see a plate or mug and it will lead me on to something else. With the tattoo series, I saw a tattoo motif and it inspired me to create the girl in every port series,” she explains.

 spends a lot of time looking through the items others want to bin.
“I use a lot of bric-a-brac. I buy from boot fairs and charity shops. I get very excited when I find something that inspires me,” she enthuses, “but I try to not let it show, especially at boot fairs as then they know they have got you.”
Each piece Susan makes is unique and tactile, with a lot to look at.
“With the flags, people usually stand far back and then get closer to it, noticing all the little details. Some even recognise plates or mugs they have at home or ones their grans used to have,” Susan explains.
With a room full of ceramics, and apparently a lot more at home, I ask how she can find anything.
“It is organised chaos,” she laughs. “I know where everything is and it is all colour co-ordinated.”
Susan enjoys creating her signature flags, but she loves images that people instantly recognise, such as the David Bowie Aladdin Sane piece or Amy Winehouse.
A girl in every port (Sweet Charity)
“I like British popular culture icons,” she explains. “I also love British culture, the clichés, touristy donkey on the beach, the eccentricity of our culture.”
Each piece is clipped, glued and grouted, with between 60 to 100 items being used on one of the flags.
A one-metre by 70 cm piece can take up to two weeks to complete if Susan has everything she needs.
When I pick one up I am actually surprised how heavy it is.
“It is reinforced so it will hold,” Susan explains. “People seem to think it is fragile, but it really isn’t.”

When Susan tells me people leave items on her doorstep, I ask if anyone has ever given her any ceramics with the proviso it isn’t to be used in one of her pieces?
She hesitates, laughs and answers: “No…well I don’t think so.”
It just goes to show that one person’s tat is another’s treasure.
Susan’s work is currently exhibited regularly with Mauger Modern – London.



Andrew Morton interview

Do you allow yourself the odd indulgence?

I like vintage objects, such as the mimeoscope that set me back £3,000 this year. I commissioned the artist Susan Elliott to create a 3ft by 3ft mosaic for me on the Noughties. It is an amazing piece of work, made up of recycled bits of pottery, plates, mugs and souvenirs. Everyone who has seen it finds it fascinating.

Financial Times Saturday - 28 - June 2011


Lions of Bath press release (for accompanying picture please contact Susan direct)

Local artist takes ‘pride’ in her Lion ‘The Mane Course’ which has been unveiled this week at the official launch of ‘The Lions of Bath’.

 23 lion sculptures were unleashed into the Royal Crescent Hotel gardens in Bath this week for the official launch of The Lions of Bath public art project.

Alongside the work of notable names such as Sir Peter Blake and Cath Kidston, stands the work of a St Leonards-on-Sea artist, Susan Elliott.

Susan specialises in mosaic work using kitchen crockery and tourist mementos and describes her work as ‘archiving the cupboards and mantelpieces of a Nation’

Her work is exhibited regularly at Mauger Modern Art in Bath, and she was a sell out at this spring’s Affordable Art fair in London.

Her Lion ‘The Mane Course’ has been sponsored by The Bertinet Kitchen.http://www.metro.co.uk/metrolife/article.html?in_article_id=241944&in_page_id=9&in_a_source

Creatures of Culture: The Cracks in British Culture: Susan Elliott
13 Oct 2009 ... Termed 'fun humour', Elliott creates her unusual pieces by smashing tourist items such ... Labels: Art London, Olivia Nairn, Susan Elliott ...
www.creaturesofculture.com/.../cracks-in-british-culture-susan-elliott.html - Cached

The Art Fair You Can Afford :: Culture :: Here Is The City Life ...
8 Oct 2007 ... This weekend is starts London's fortnight of art. ... Made In Britain II - Susan Elliot. Made In Britain II - Susan Elliot ...
life.hereisthecity.com/get_cultured/entertainment/culture/294.cntns - Cached

Photos: The Affordable Art Fair in NYC. « C-MONSTER.net
13 Jun 2008 ... Union Flag (Here be Dragons and Lion), a mosaic by Susan Elliott. ... Affordable Art Fair London Yard, by Laura Jordan, at Gallery One from ...
c-monster.net/blog1/2008/06/.../photos-the-affordable-art-fair-in-nyc/ - Cached

File Format: PDF/Adobe Acrobat - View as HTML
Susan Elliott. Kaffe Fasset. Laura Freeman. Angela Goodman. John Gould. Nina Gronw-Lewis. Graham Ryan ..... in London, before moving into horticulture. He worked ..... 'Under a Monkey' Contemporary Art Fair at. City of Bath College. ...

Mauger Modern Art Gallery of Bath. Galleries in Bath, England, UK.
Shopping in Bath,Bath's Exclusive Shopping Tour,Andy Warhol, August Hoerr, Banksy, Antony Micallef, Brett Goldstar, Chris Milton, David Toudic, Fay Ku, ...
www.bathshopping.co.uk/maugermodernart.htm - Cached

In Pictures: London @ London Art Fair - Londonist
15 Jan 2010 ... Union Flag (Last Orders Please) by Susan Elliott. NEXT » · « PREVIOUS. We went for another look round London Art Fair with our trusty ...
londonist.com/2010/01/in_pictures_london_london_art_fair.php?... - Cached

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