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Susan Norrie: Untitled

The  Artist

Probably the best source of a biography for Susan Norrie is the Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney. According to the MCA, Susan was born in 1953 in Sydney, New South Wales.  Norrie originally trained as a painter at the National Art School, Sydney and the National Gallery School, Melbourne in the 1970s, shifting towards film and installation in the mid-1990s. Norrie’s videos are predominantly metaphoric, combining art, documentary and film.

Susan Norrie, Untitled

The Work of Art

Susan Norrie’s work is concerned with environmental, geological and socio-political issues, with a particular focus on the Asia-Pacific region. Norrie began her artistic career as a painter in the 1980s but soon began to combine different artistic media, including video, photography and installation.

Norrie’s fascination with nature and her concern with the catastrophic consequences of resource exploitation are reflected in a number of her other video works, including Undertow (2002), Havoc (2007), SHOT (2009), Rules of Play (2009–2014), Dissent (2012–2014) and aftermath (2016). The unpredictable, devastating forces of nature are juxtaposed with human capabilities and vulnerabilities in these works, creating critical yet poised narratives. Norrie’s characteristic long film shots, slow camera movements and classical compositions produce evocative scenes that connect different subjects and places, providing the viewer with a sense of engagement and contemplation.

Specifically, Norrie's untitled work  also provides a sense of engagement and contemplation for the viewer.  The image is of an elaorately decorated coat, possibly oriental even, viewed from the side as the sleeve reaches down  into the pocket. The designs on the coat are  an intricate floral design with rosettes and stems. The  coat in its golden fabric clashes against the dull grey background , although, that  too is delicately patterned.  Although it is a simple composition, it is a work that one can view and contemplate for quite some time. The  work of art is a limited edition etching created for the 'Land' portfolio in 1988 to mark the bicentennary of European arrival to Australia.