Question Number 2:
How does your love of nature and animals inform your art? Does your work with airport therapy dogs influence your creative expression, and could you tell us a little about it?
I believe that my surroundings influence my art; living in a beautiful landscape with wildlife and having my pets part of my personal space, supports my purpose for creating. And, yes Charlie is a nice tactile work of art if I do say so myself, though the airport houses a lot of fabulous art and architecture influencing my own art making as well.
Charlie, and all the airport therapy dogs comfort so many travelers and staff, it’s a true break from the stress of flying or the departure delays & cancellations. It is amazing how open and expressive people are with the dogs; they hug, stroke, talk, even hold their head and look right into the dogs eyes, it can be a personal and touching moment.
I love to build and experiment with a structure, give me a idea like “flamingo” and away I go. I create a base; usually a simplified shape, then layer it with character (colour & pattern), after that I adjust the sculpture so that it can stand on it’s own. I would call it therapeutic, handling the soft sculpture is like observing and talking to a dog, lucky for me I put the art sculpture away when it’s misbehaving.
Changing weather conditions will affect my art practice as well, in Calgary the Chinook arch and the hoar frost are pretty remarkable works of nature. If I’m out for a walk or drive and I’m moved by what I see and feel, when I get to the studio I express my feeling of wow with fabric and threads.
Click for an article about Susan’s work with airport therapy dogs at the Calgary airport.
Check out Susan Fae’s Etsy shop.