Spring and Autumn. My two favourite seasons which never seem to disappoint. A warm Spring day is a treat and a taste of long summer days ahead (whether or not they materialise is of little consequence). A glorious Autumn day with long shadows made from golden sunshine giving way to the first thoughts of cosy jumpers and book reading by the fire. Crunching through Autumn leaves sounds like a terrible cliche doesn’t it, but who doesn’t love getting their wellies on and heading to the woods for a Sunday afternoon walk? I’m pretty certain Susanna Bauer enjoys an Autumn walk, but perhaps it’s more the careful selecting and collection of the leaves that pre-occupies her.
Susanna’s art must require extraordinary concentration. The leaves that we therapeutically crunch under foot or dutifully rake up from our gardens, take on a completely different form when she gets to work on them. Susanna spent many years in commercial model making, so she’s used to working in miniature and being incredibly patient, something that serves her in good stead with her creations. Leaves and twigs are transformed and embellished by crochet and yarn. She tells me that she likes to explore the tension between fragility and strength and that the crochet has to be just tight enough to hold its shape, but not too tight that it will damage the leaves.
Theres another story that these leaves tell; one of the inter-dependance of human connection and relationship. Fragile and strong at the same time, woven together and shaped into boxes, holes which have been punched into leaves and then transformed into tiny crocheted tunnels or pockets. Its perhaps no surprise, therefore, that Susanna’s art has found its way into therapy rooms, where it must make for a helpful conversation starter.
You can see Susanna’s extraordinary work at Lemon Street Gallery in Truro until 27 June. Its well worth a visit, not only to see the intricate details of her pieces and wonder at her patience, but also to ponder on strength and fragility within our own close relationships and those in our community.
Photographs used with kind permission
Cover photo: Moon (photo Susanna Bauer)
2nd photo set: Through, Connect (photo art-photographers.co.uk)
3rd photo: Link (photo Simon Cook)
4th photo: Self-portrait by Susanna