‘Part of the Plan’ – artist Susan Keshet in the spotlight
Brighton-based artist Susan is inspired by our relationship with nature, and creates work in various media. Visit www.susankeshet.com for more examples of her work.
Being an artist
Please give us a few words of introduction about yourself
I am an artist living and working in the city of Brighton and Hove in the county of East Sussex. I live in a house a 100 m from the beach and the light and air here are perfect.
When did you decide to pursue art as a career?
I have always been an artist on some level – I grew in an environment where art was considered to be of the utmost importance – a human need. In a way that meant I always looked a little deeper than the surface – always wondered about things like beauty or truth. I decided to pursue art about 6 years ago – it has always been my ambition – part of the plan.
What training did you have?
I studied Art at high school but went on to do a degree in Geography. I worked abroad for many years but always pursued art at evening classes and the like and I was never without a sketch book or a camera. It was only years later when I actually decided to go to back to college to study Art. I gained a degree in Fine Art in 2011.
What has been the high point of your career so far?
Organising and curating the show ‘Light Thickens’ in Vyner Street Gallery London May 2011. It was a pleasure to meet so many amazing people visiting the show who gave me feedback on which to build my confidence as an artist.
What’s your favourite quote?
When setting upon your way to Ithaca,
wish always that your way be long,
full of adventure,
full of love
Who is your favourite artist?
At present its a young British artist called Nick Goss. His work has a gorgeous lightness of touch but considerable depth of meaning – it stands alone and needs no explanation yet leaves space for the viewer to step inside and amble around .I like art like that .
What are you aiming for?
Happiness and simplicity
How will you get there?
By continuing to follow the path I seem to be on.
Is anything holding you back?
Time – especially the management of – though I am getting much better.
You and art
What feelings or reactions do you hope to arouse in people who view your work? Are you ever surprised by reactions that you get?
I would like people to question the way we live and how we have come to inhabit the world. Some people are really enthusiastic about my work – its then I see the work exists on its own – aside from me , the artist, which is the greatest compliment I could receive.
From start to finish, how long does it take for you to create your work?
It depends. Some pieces take weeks to finish – others – done in a day.
What music do you like to listen to when you work?
I love female vocalists. Presently I am listening to Florence and the Machine, Daughter, Soley (a great Finnish artist) – and an Israeli singer Yael Naim. Oh and Radiohead too.
What are you working on next? Any future plans or projects in the pipeline that we should look out for?
Currently working on a show called ‘Depositary’ for the Brighton Fringe Festival – www.depositaryartshow.wordpress.com – work will appear on this site after May 17th 2013.
Also exhibiting a couple of works in The Art Shack on Romney Marsh in Kent in the month of May – I love the wildness of this location and of course I love sheds/shacks of any kind, so its perfect.
Being inspired by art
Who (living or dead) inspires you? and why?
The work of Francis Alys inspires me. As an artist who trained as an architect his visual language often uses the tools of his former trade and this inspires me. His work does not baffle or confound – it is engaging in a good way and one most people could relate to in some way without feeling patronised.
The actor Michael Gambol inspires – he just acts with such abandon – he is great.
What feelings, subjects or concepts inspire you as an artist?
Our relationship with nature both human and otherwise.
What is your favourite work that you’ve produced so far and why?
My favourite work is Abandoned Landscape 1 – mixed media on paper 2012
I feel with this work I have managed to capture the essence of what the world has become with the onset of modernity. I am also pleased with the composition. I have it in my living room and the deer remind me of a time we were in Austria high up in the mountains when a very young fawn came and fed on some roots without noticing we were there. We felt like the intruders yet were so honoured to to be there – it has always stayed with me.
an artist’s advice
For those thinking about turning a passion for art into a career, could you give any advice?
You just have to be prepared to work and work and work – this will not be a problem if you are a true artist. Don’t copy other artists, Psychoanalyse yourself to find out what really matters to you and what you really care about. Your work will be the better for it.
Any tips on how to get your work seen and get the commissions coming in?
Be committed to what you are doing. If you need to sacrifice that new pair of boots to pay for gallery space then so be it. Show your work on websites such as this one and Tweet or Facebook to all your art connections. Decide where you want to place yourself in the art world – academia or galleries and follow that path.