Artist Q & A with Sue-Ching Lascelles
Term: 1 Year: 2022
Art as a child. How did art first manifest itself to you?
I think as children we are naturally drawn to the playfulness of creating. I always enjoyed making and crafting as a child and my parents always encouraged this. Growing up, we had a children’s encyclopedia set in the house and my favourite edition was called ‘Make & Do’. I learnt to screenprint with my father when I was 7, tuft a rug when I was 8. I would design and sew clothes with my mum. My dad always took us to visit galleries and museums, he particularly loved the paintings of Gauguin.
When making work for a show do you consider scale of work and interpreting the exhibition space/presentation?
The space my work occupies is very important. Most of my work is site specific sculptural installations. The space plays an important role in helping to develop the final work for the exhibition. I might start with an idea, but the final outcome is often determined by how/where it will be seen and experienced. My preference is more toward smaller and intimate spaces where I can occupy the whole space and absorb the viewer into my landscape.
Why have you chosen textiles as your method of enquiry for your practise?
I’m very drawn to the process and craft techniques employed with textiles. I always think about painting and drawing as a very free and often impulsive form of expression, much like singing or music. With textiles, although it is possible to create intuitively, there is a lot of planning and process involved to reach the end result. If I’m making a sculptural work I have to consider how the shapes will fit together and in what order. What methods of embellishment do I need to make this work successful and what skills do I need to follow through? I have learnt to print, sew, embroider, macrame, weave and tuft throughout my career as an artist.
What role does gender play in your work?
My work itself is not centralised around feminist themes but as a female artist working mostly in textiles, it’s unavoidable to acknowledge the gender stereotypes in my practise. Textiles, sewing, mending and making have always been predominantly a woman’s role, and so when we look back historically at textile work and the way the skills and techniques have been handed down, it is through our grandmothers, mothers and daughters.
(Zart Education) in conversation with Sue-Ching Lascelles