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Not a Still Life: Susan Wilson 

Susan Wilson is a New Zealander who has been living in London for the past three decades. Originally working as a nurse in New Zealand, she left for Europe in 1976 where she studied art at the Camberwell and the Royal Academy in London. Since then she has exhibited widely, and currently teaches at Princes Drawing School in Shoreditch.

Wilson is best known for her strong portraits, painted in a representational manner. Though her sitters are recognisable, traditionally a measure of a successful portrait, she adds an angle which encapsulates a message or statement. The still-life is also a subject Wilson continues to return to.

Each still-life object is specifically chosen, and the paintings often contain portraits within them, many appropriated from reproductions, book covers or her collection of postcards, many of which are reproductions of old paintings.

Wilson retains a strong attachment to New Zealand and continues to exhibit in Auckland regularly.

New Zealand imagery is often included in her work, and in 2000 she completed a series illustrating Katherine Mansfield’s short stories for The Folio Society.








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