Suzanne Carroll is a visual artist living and working in Co Louth, Ireland. Suzanne graduated in 2021 with a BA (Joint Hons.) degree in Fine Art with Critical Culture (1st class) from the National College of Art and Design, Dublin. Suzanne’s work is currently focused on a contemporary painting practice.
In the course of my studies, I have developed an interest in how the memories we choose to recall and the memories we choose to forget, shape our own personal narrative, what historical novelist Hillary Mantel refers to as “the scaffolding we build to hold our lives together” or what psychoanalyst Ernst Kris termed “our own personal myth”. Part of this myth is the importance we sometimes bestow on inanimate objects; we imbue these objects with memory and meaning and become attached to them. In their essay The object of my affection: attachment security and material culture, Taryn Bell and Penny Spikins expand on this phenomenon, they argue that objects can hold an emotional significance, they have agency and play a role in material culture.
These ideas were foremost in my mind as I considered my much loved but badly broken earthenware bowls as source material for my latest series of work.
Pushed, bewitched or just had enough….
Following many useful years, my stack of carefully curated earthenware bowls toppled from the edge of their shelf. They ricocheted off unforgiving flagstones and shattered. I knelt with regret on the cold floor as I gathered their exposed earthy innards.
In the light of the late afternoon I clinically laid them out on a sheet of white paper. I photographed their curved bellies starkly juxtaposed against jagged edges. Photographs from an inconclusive autopsy revealed fantastical landscapes and puzzling still lifes.
I journeyed back and forth between the increasing evidence; drawings, watercolours, mono-prints of photographs and case notes, all spoke of the remains. Preliminary works on paper seemed to shift with a fragile division between abstract and observed. Finally, without any pomp or ceremony, I dressed each one in a fitting acrylic palette and laid them to rest one by one on a carefully prepared canvas.