Susan Collis’ practice involves a subversion of our visual perception through the manipulation of everyday objects. Characteristically this involves painstaking work to replicate the accidental incident through use of particular ‘craft’ processes and precious materials.
An ambitious new commission This too shall pass (2010) is at the centre of her exhibition. Imitating a partly dismantled temporary wall, various remnants – holes, screws, rawlplugs, adhesive tape, staples and paint splashes – are faithfully copied using black diamonds, silver and coral.
Elsewhere, Work on it (2002) is a worn table apparently covered with marks and ﬂecks of paint; in fact its surface is littered with vinyl that mimics the wood-grain.
Better Days (2007), a dust-sheet seemingly paint-stained and discarded, is revealed to be meticulously decorated with delicate embroidery, a very deliberate action rather than the result of an accident.
Collis’ work is very subtle and deceptive. At first glance her exhibition appears almost empty, not yet ready for visitors.
Published on the occasion of the exhibition Susan Collis: Since I Fell For You at Ikon Gallery, Birmingham, March – May 2010.