'False Doors and Timeless Thresholds' - Susan Banks

Detail of Evidence Eleven by Susan Banks

Throughout June explore a brand new exhibition by Lincolnshire based artist Susan Banks.

Susan's paintings contain illusions, metaphors and references to art of the distant past but they also can be viewed as decorative and ambiguous surfaces involving playful processes and patterns that sometimes undermine assumptions about perspectives, depth of field and figure and ground relationships.

Detail of 'Realities One' by Susan Banks
Detail of Realities One by Susan Banks
Detail of 'Realities One' by Susan Banks

Susan Banks studied painting in the 1960s, gained her M.A. in 1995 and completed her M.Phil thesis in 2000. Her work has been exhibited since early solo shows in 1970s. Most recent Solo shows have been exhibited as “Divertimenta” and “Elusion and Revision”. She also reaches wider viewers in selected online exhibitions. She lives near Louth in Lincolnshire.

Detail of 'Pasiphae Two' by Susan Banks
Detail of Pasiphae Two by Susan Banks
Detail of 'Pasiphae Two' by Susan Banks

After a lifetime of studies in art and art history the impact of the Roman wall paintings was a revelation and Susan felt compelled to engage with its intrigues, clever perspectives and conventions. Not only false doors but also windows, frames, views and shrines are suggested. A recurring element is the apotropaic sign which guards against the insecurity of these liminal spaces - so the liminal space here becomes a painted metaphor for feelings of uncertainty.

After a visit to Crete and particularly Knossos and Heraklion she was motivated to respond to the even older fragments paintings from about 1600 BCE but to tie them into the themes of the rest of her work. A common denominator is a fascination with the aesthetics of decay.

Detail of 'Mysteries Six' by Susan Banks
Detail of Mysteries Six by Susan Banks
Detail of 'Mysteries Six' by Susan Banks

Susan was delighted to discover a resonance between the paintings and aspects of the gardens at Gunby Hall particularly the arbours, arches and doors in walls.  Trompe-l'œil apertures and gardens are very much part of the Roman painting that she has drawn on in her work.

Contact Susan on 01507 328182 for more information or to buy a painting.

'False Doors and Timeless Thresholds' will be in Orchard Gallery from 1 to 30 June. The gallery, tucked away in the walled gardens, is open daily from 11am to 5pm. Admission is included in the entry to Gunby.