Susanna Bauer. The strength hidden in the fragility of nature
by Laura Luppi
“De rerum natura” (On the Nature of Things), the didactic poem by the Roman poet and philosopher Lucretius, opens with an invocation of the goddess Venus: “(…) life-giving force, that beneath the gliding stars makest to teem the many-voyaged main and fruitful lands, for all of living things through thee alone are evermore conceived, through thee are risen to visit the great sun”.
Life is the work of nature to which humans belong and in which they can always rediscover their roots and the unresolvable dichotomy between strength and corruptibility of body and soul. Life is therefore so precious, manifesting its power in the fragility of all living beings. There is a thread binding the moments of our existence together, joining the destiny of all creatures in a perpetual interweaving of relationships, serendipitous encounters, exchanges or collisions; this thread is similar to the one Susanna Bauer has woven in her delicate art creations. The artist uses the needle to make fine embroideries on the thin, crumbly surface of leaves and tiny branches, creating sculptures that are small in size but of great dramatic intensity. Just as in botany the insertion of a part of a plant into another plant of a different variety results in the production of a new type of plant (which doesn’t destroy the original features of the two plants but rather keeps them all inside), similarly Susanna is the maker of an histologic fusion between a man-made product and a product of the Earth. When putting these two elements together the artist succeeds in always creating new and different artistic forms in a subtle equilibrium between natural and artificial work. It’s a sort of regeneration that destroys nothing – following the thought of Epicurus from whom Lucretius drew his inspiration —, as it doesn’t come from nothing but from the matter already given to the world in its various configurations which perpetuate a destiny that is designed to bring about a necessary change in their being and in their appearing. A metamorphosis brought about again by a demiurge with female features, and such female features become even clearer if we consider the care and attention the artist uses in this complicated process. Susanna Bauer’s work requires patience and precision, sometimes even a meditative approach, and through her work the artist tells us about the secrets hidden in the mystery of life, about the human being and his relationships with himself and with the others.
Susanna Bauer was born in 1969 in EichstÃ¤tt (Germany), she lives and work in Cornwall (UK).
1 | Aligning (side view), 2016, magnolia leaves, cotton yarn,(photo_art-photographers.co.uk)
2 | Collection (detail 1), 2015, leaves (magnolia, platanus), magnolia floral axes, wood, silk-mohair and cotton yarns(photo_art-photographers.co.uk)
3 | Collection, 2015, leaves (magnolia, platanus), magnolia floral axes, wood, silk-mohair and cotton yarns(photo_art-photographers.co.uk)
4 | Cube Tree No.5 (detail 1), 2015, magnolia leaves, cotton yarn, wood, (photo_art-photographers.co.uk)
5 | Dwelling (detail left), 2013, magnolia leaf, cotton yarn(photo_art-photographers.co.uk)
6 | Encounter (side view), 2016, magnolia leaves, cotton yarn (photo_art-photographers.co.uk)
7 | Encounter, 2016, magnolia leaves, cotton yarn, (photo_art-photographers.co.uk)
8 | Four Circles, 2016,magnolia leaves, cotton yarn(photo_art-photographers)
9 | Halves (side view), 2013, magnolia leaves, cotton yarn (photo Simon Cook)
10 | Halves, 2013,magnolia leaves, cotton yarn, (framed)(photo_Simon Cook)
11 | Levels (detail), 2015, platanus leaves, cotton yarn, (photo_art-photographers.co.uk)
12 | Navigation, 2013, magnolia leaf, cotton yarn(photo Susanna Bauer)
13 | Octagon, 2008, magnolia leaf, (side view) (photo Susanna Bauer)
14 | One, Two Three (photo_art-photographers.co.uk)
15 | Resurgence l, 2015, magnolia leaves, cotton yarn(photo_art-photographers.co.uk)
16 | Rising l (detail), 2014, magnolia leaves, cotton yarn, wood(photo_Susanna Bauer)
17 | Through (side view), 2015, magnolia leaf, cotton yarn(photo_art-photographers.co.uk)
18 | Trans-Plant No.19, 2015, magnolia leaves, cotton yarn(photo_artphotographers.co.uk)