Susie Leiper and Felicity Bristow
Susie loves being up on the mountain. Felicity enjoys walking down by the river. Both artists share a fascination with absorbent papers, which react randomly to the inks applied to them, echoing the uncontrollable changing faces of the land and the water. Felicity’s inks are drawn upwards, splitting into a blaze of brilliant hues, while for Susie, varying dilutions of Chinese inks struggle against resists and create extraordinary, unrepeatable marks. As well as making wall works, both Felicity and Susie are fascinated by the book form and distil some of their work in this format.
Over the last few years Felicity has been developing her unique methods of large scale paper chromatography revealing ephemeral and ‘alternative truths’ about site ‘…with layers of vivid colour that seem to have been drawn up into the paper by some kind of osmosis.’ – Duncan Macmillan, The Scotsman (2016).
Since moving to the Scottish Borders in 2011 the River Tweed has become an important abstract influence on Felicity’s work; with physical ‘croys’ being introduced to the paper to displace the pigments within the series of ‘Draw-ing(s)’ made – each one unique in its final captured separation.
Felicity studied architecture at Edinburgh College of Art (1993-99) and qualified as an Architect, practising in Edinburgh until 2008 while also teaching part time at ECA in 1st Year Architecture and on the Art & Architecture Diploma Course (2003-2007).
In Summer 2016 she completed a MA in Contemporary Art Practice at ECA. Felicity lives and works as an artist in the Scottish Borders developing her own research-based practice in her WASP’s studio in Selkirk.
Susie’s fascination with the mountain and with Chinese papers dates back to her stays in Hong Kong and her many visits to China. She is also a bit of a Munro bagger. Trained originally as a calligrapher, Susie now combines lettering and painting, sometimes on the same piece, sometimes separately. She works on everything from vast walls and canvases to small wooden panel and books. Susie exhibits widely and her work is held in many national and private collections.
One of Britain’s leading calligraphers, Susie is known both for her traditional skills in writing with quills on vellum and for her innovative use of the Chinese brush as a writing tool. Susie’s formative years as a calligrapher were spent in Hong Kong, where she developed her passion for Chinese art and language.
Susie also paints in oils, watercolours and ink, sometimes combining painting with calligraphy in the tradition of Chinese art. Much of her work takes the form of handmade artist books.