Susan Grant

Resident: 2005 – 2005 | 
Duration: 6 months
 
Artists Work
Susan Grant is concerned with contemporary society seen in a historic political, social, architectural and spiritual context. Her work explores both shifting issues within society and the unchanging cycles of life of which we are a part.

In Aberdeen, Susan’s artwork grew from an examination of intensive examples of urban community such as the traditional Scottish ‘tenement’ and towerblock – a series of single cells with few communication lines. 

At Highgreen Susan continued her fascination with the structure of communities, their occupation of buildings and impact on the landscape and how this has been affected by changes of use over the last century. An exploration of this led to a body of work very clearly of Tarset and the people who live here. 

Susan’s main areas of research were the relationship between leisure time and work time and the relationship between industrial and leisure use of the land; fox-hunting, coal mining and the countryside as a leisure destination. She also explored the nature of community life in a dispersed and isolated rural setting with the shifting influences of industry, religion and technology.

Many local people contributed to Susan’s own work in a major way; through recorded interviews in which they have told their story and theories about rural community living and through the wealth of information and pictures they have brought her. Old photograph albums have provided a rich visual record of local social history. 

Susan gathered all these various references and sources and brought the threads of them together in work that relates to the spaces across the estate and their original use. The work ranges from very beautiful and simply drawn outlines of buildings made on local slate to complex pieces that bring together carefully constructed sound, text and visual material that provide rich and thought-provoking insights into aspects of local contemporary rural life which also resonates with its history.

Work in the Community
Susan Grant spent a couple of days with each of the three nearest first schools. With her guidance, children’s drawings of their homes were transposed onto slate and acetate and, using projection, one big composite image incorporating all the children’s images was created. This was very much enjoyed and resulted in an intriguing and beautiful piece of work.