I have always been a maker, previously working with textiles and sculpture, but for over 20 years now, since completing a fine art ceramics degree, I have taught ceramics in both Further and Adult Education alongside my own studio practice. I currently teach at Northlight Art School in Hebden Bridge and help to manage a large and varied art programme which includes around 50 students working with clay.
I exhibit regularly in a range of Northern galleries, arts festivals and venues and am a member of the Northern Potters Association.
My own work demonstrates a fascination with the process of hand building alongside a joy in the collection and re presentation of found objects, fragments and memorabilia. Recent work is inspired by the landscape I inhabit and walk daily around my home, high on the moor tops above the Calder Valley in West Yorkshire. It offers a response to familiar footpaths, textures, forms and views, absorbed over a period of 35 years. The rocky, grainy surface of moorland paths, the imagined strata lying beneath and the ever changing expansive views inform the work.
There seems to be a physicality about this body of work which includes the initial act of walking, perhaps connecting with the previous steps of others which leave direct marks visible in the landscape by way of paths and way markers. The materials used in the work come from the earth that is walked including clays, grits, gravels and minerals. The reconstitution and making of the clay bodies used, plus the marks and materials re-presented, resonate both with the initial walked experience and the past life of a worked landscape.
Memory, relationships and the lived environment are evident in the subject matter for much of my past work. For many years I used every day domestic items, like teapots and clocks as metaphors to explore important relationships, such as those of mother and child. More recently, relationships still feature with objects made and offered for exhibition in pairs, sets, series and multiples.
I am a long standing studio holder with Northlight Art Studios co-operative which has housed around 25 artists and makers for over 30 years. The ground floor of this reclaimed mill also provides the unique location for Northlight Art School, allowing students to work, learn and socialise alongside practising artists. My students are constantly encouraged to engage with the work of other artists and makers.
I hope this website provides an interesting historical overview of my work which, as a fine artist, is ever evolving. As you will see I both enjoy and embrace change whilst recognising the underlying presence of ongoing concerns which recur like old friends.
Sue Turner March 2019