Sue Saxon: upcoming artist-in-residence

Sue Saxon's twenty year painting and installation practice has included an eight month field trip across Australia and residencies in Budapest, New York and Paris. She's charted the emotional and physical geographies of memory; drawing on popular culture, philosophical texts and the elemental, symbolic and sensuous qualities of materials such as paprika, salt, flour, tears and eggshells. Sue's critical engagement with her own history and a desire to rupture the status quo combines to infuse her work with multiple layers of metaphor and meaning.

Sue Saxon, Sarah and Hagar, emu eggshells on paper

I am currently engaged in an eggshell mosaic and sculpture project which playfully conflates the conventions and tropes of birdwatching, or “twitching”, with the processes of ordering and stereotyping. I'm gathering visual, scientific and aural information about the habits of the coastal avian community to consider the ways we stereotype the human members of our community. The final two and three dimensional works will depict profiles of beaks and noses, silhouettes and birding paraphernalia. They will reflect on the reasons and consequences of using stereotypes to help order our world. For example, the compulsive repetition of stereotypes can reveal a dominant group’s anxieties and instabilities, as it does its power to control the social world. Stereotypes ‘explain’ real or imaginary differences, contribute to group bonding and enhance the power holder’s self esteem, serving as a tool of border keeping and maintenance of the political, social and economic status quo.

Sue Saxon, Facing the Other II, chicken eggshells on paper

While my project may appear whimsical, it’s armed with serious intent! It continues my interest in the processes of stereotyping and its role in the construction of `Otherness’. During my Gunyah residency I will draw, photograph and record birdlife in the Port Stephens district and assist in developing my project’s themes.

(Sue Saxon, July 2011)

Sue Saxon, Facing the Other I, chicken eggshells on paper

For more information and images of Sue Saxon's artwork please visit