Susan Farquhar grew up in North Bay, began her Visual Art BFA at the University of Guelph and completed it at York University in the early 1980’s. Soon after she studied professional fine art printing in lithography at Open Studio in Toronto working with artists such as Harold Klunder, Louis de Niverville, Ron Bolt and Yves Gaucher. Susan and her partner Robert Game went on to work in a private print studio Novak Graphics from 1983 to 1989. Susan and Robert continued to work with artists as professional fine art printers until 2013 when they closed their own studio Atelier GF. Over their careers they produced lithographs, etchings, relief and silkscreen prints for artists such as John Chamberlain, Dorothea Rockburne, Malcolm Morley, Anne Meredith Barry, John Hartman and Alice Tiechert as well as prints for the John Lennon and Miles Davis estates. Early in her career Susan worked mainly in lithography and participated in group shows in Alberta, Ontario and Newfoundland. Her landscape-based imagery was developed from drawings and watercolours done on trips to Northern Ontario. Fifteen years ago she began to work more in unique media and produce solo exhibits for Ferneyhough Contemporary in North Bay and David Kaye Gallery in Toronto.
Extended exposure to a variety of artists’ works has stimulated a continuing process of examination and change in artistic practice. The writings of Dr. Margi Prideaux an independent academic in wildlife policy and law who outlines the conflict between international government/corporate strategies and conservation processes http://wildpolitics.co. has been the current focus in Susan’s work. WILD TAPESTRY, her 2017 exhibit at David Kaye Gallery imagined Prideaux’s positive vision of a dynamic world-wide tapestry in this climate changed world: our planet nurtured by its animals and people potentially living cooperatively.
Susan was awarded the Artist in Residence at the Women’s Art Association of Canada for 2018 – 2019. This opportunity brought her back into working with artists again. Through printmaking workshops, weekly hands on sessions, gallery visits, a group print show and a solo exhibit Susan shared her inspiration and experience with this art-wise community.
My career as a professional printmaker has molded my approach to art and artistic process. Working with artists in a variety of ways over the years I have been happy to absorb their influences. Later rather than sooner I began to have a sense of my own artistic direction: what focus, how to work and why.
For the past decade my work has involved the interaction of visual ideas about the physical environment and the stories of its inhabitants. I recreated the physical character of Canada’s Boreal Region through a process-driven approach; layers of texture, colour, repeated pattern, paper-cuts and coarse mark-making culminate in an visual environment. The intension is construction to evoke the animate rather than realistic representation of landscape. Printmaking was the original approach but this morphed into unique more dimensional works on canvas and wood panels.
WILD TAPESTRY at David Kaye Gallery in 2017 was a series of works centered on a broader visual concept while employing the above process: the world as a dynamic tapestry woven of written phrases, drawings of animals, scientists and indigenous peoples to create canvases of texture, collage, drawing and painting. The inspiration was the writing of Dr. Margi Prideaux an independent academic in wildlife policy and law who has worked in international conservation processes for almost 30 years. In Global environment Governance, Civil Society and Wildlife: Birdsong After the Storm Dr. Prideaux discusses climate change, international governance and wildlife conservation involving local communities.
My intuitive interpretation of our Anthropocene age kept going in my Women’s Art Association of Canada Artist In Residence of 2018 to 2019. My AIR show WHERE IS WILD was a group of paper works using paper manipulation, assemblage, printmaking and pastel drawing. I attempted to imagine the animal or non-human position by asking, “What is non-human reality in a digitized world ?”
Those artistic concerns of what focus, how to work, and why continue now more as companions rather than obstacles as they once were. Artists see the world and their job is to express it as originally as they can.