Wednesday, 1 July 2015

Fallen Leaves

Susanna Bauer’s stunning crocheted leaf sculptures are incredibly delicate and mesmerizing art works, which defy our imagination and seize our attention.

“Anyone who thinks fallen leaves are dead has never watched them dancing on a windy day”, stated Shira Tamir, an Israel born and New York based eclectic artist. This could well be adapted to describe Susanna Bauer’s uncommon, extremely delicate and deeply mesmerizing art works made out of dead leaves.

Born in Bavaria, Germany, Susanna Bauer has lived in Cornwall, England since 1996, where she works in the creation of incredible masterpieces which could be defined as crocheted leaf sculptures. Having studied landscape architecture at university and worked for television and the film industry for more than sixteen years making décor objects, she gradually came to master the difficult techniques of hand working with several different media, including a variety of natural materials. She further resorted to the use of traditional craft techniques such as crocheting and weaving.

As she, herself, puts it, “I work with found I work with found natural objects. Leaves, stones, pieces of wood…ephemeral things, easily overlooked.
And I use crochet; sometimes as embellishment, but mostly in a more unconventional way as a means of sculpture and construction.
There is a fine balance in my work between fragility and strength; literally, when it comes to pulling a fine thread through a brittle leaf or thin dry piece of wood, but also in a wider context - the tenderness and tension in human connections, the transient yet enduring beauty of nature that can be found in the smallest detail, vulnerability and resilience that could be transferred to nature as a whole or the stories of individual beings.”

Susanna Bauer’s talent and skill in the production of her art works are combined to offer viewers miniature sculptures made of leaves which are, indeed, mind blowing art objects, especially if we consider the extremely fragile nature her medium. Rather than attempting to imitate Nature, Bauer brings “natural elements into her art works as if she is actually collaborating with Nature”, as stated by Scott Rothstein in “Hand/Eye Magazine”.

In her respect and consideration for the leaf, what Susanna Bauer adds to or subtracts from it is an act of reverence and an effort to enhance the beauty of the natural elements she works with, thereby challenging viewers’ expectations. As Vincent van Gogh once stated, “…and then, I have Nature and Art and Poetry, and if that is not enough, what is enough?”

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