Many of us “citizens of the world” lament our verbal noise, saying with frustration, we think, read, and talk too much. Sometimes it takes an artist (a former writer, no less) to enter the verbose jungle—that endless stream of thoughts—and re-arrange it a bit.
Meet SUZY FARREN, the Alliance Gallery’s guest artist for April. A professional writer who retired as Vice President for Corporate Communications for SSM Health, she also found herself retired from writing. Somewhat wordless, Suzy wondered in what other ways she could express herself. She slowly ran the reel of writing backwards until she backed right into a world of art. Very tactile art.
Her wall hangings are abstract worlds swirling with barely discernible words, living within a multitude of textures and warm earth-toned colors. “I usually write words on my pieces, but they are intentionally indecipherable to the viewer. I guess because I was a writer for so long, I just have to have those words.” She adds, “I frequently find myself writing the words of a poem by my father. They are deeply personal to me.”
The viewer experiences language unstrung, hung in its own beauty. That beauty reflects earth tones of the countryside, perhaps because she grew up in a 1749 stone house. Her approach to her art, “organic and intuitive,” always requires her hands, tactilely expressing this process of living with a piece: adding, subtracting, painting, ripping, layering, extracting.
Sometimes, however, the intuitive unbounded creations leave her craving that more precise art: book-making. Book-as-art allows those of us who love books to enter into the magical world of potential: it holds the “vibration” of our favorite book, or the book on the shelf waiting to be read, or the amazing book we just heard about. Suzy Farren’s book creations offer the sheer BEAUTY of a book.
You can learn more about Farren's work at her website http://suzyfarren.com
An opening reception for this exhibit will be held on Saturday, April 8 from 5 until 8:00. This coincides with Hannibal's Second Saturday Gallery Night