Thursday, March 10, 2011

Surface Design Association Conference excerpt circa 2007

     In 2007, I took a four-day workshop with Susan Hammond West at the Surface Design Association Conference, held at that time, in Kansas City. The workshop, called "Art as Quiet", began with each day with a meditation. Susan Hammond West is a painter and mixed media artist with a hunger for experimentation. She combines art making with the energy of Buddhism and Yoga philosophy.
         Susan’s work is simple in appearance and reflects her inner serenity. It's simple with barely tangible circles and organic shapes surrounded by large quantities of space. 

     Her works expands beyond the rectangle to present in attached free constructions of numerous sizes. She uses paint, molding paste, assortment of fabrics, industrial felt and even stitches with copper wire.

            I told her that it was ‘intense simplicity”. Years later, I can still feel her energy in her work.
            Simultaneously, Sue had an exhibition in Kansas City during the conference.  There are so many exhibitions and vendors that I call these conferences ‘fiber heaven’.
            Currently chair of the Visual Arts Department at Naropa University, she teaches and researches contemporary and ecstatic art forms, and how to infuse art with a palpable haunting presence.
             “Art is an open form of communication that evolves powerfully in a supportive environment. Here a vibrant space is held for something extraordinary to happen. Through art making the student discovers their own self-reflected consciousness.
            Teaching is a transmission and energy exchange from teacher to student, student to student, and student to teacher. Both intangible and practical connections are important for the transformation of matter and energy. As artist and mentor, I teach from a full expression of candid enthusiasm. I activate contemplative and intellectual investigations where each student discovers their dynamic role as creator in the world.”
Susan Hammond West

SHHHHHHHH!                                                                                                        info here

4 comments:

Judy said...

Tanks for the wonderful piece about Susan Hammond West. I am looking forward to seeing her exhibit.
Can't wait to get back to 'fiber heaven'!

xo

Judy Warner said...

The power in her simplicity is beautiful.

Kelly Marszycki said...

Intriguing works! I think I'll rejoin SDA -- I miss the Journal and profiles -- intellectual and visual "eye candy!"

Thank you for sharing

Judy Martin said...

Wen, I was in that class too.
It was a wonderful class, and like you I remember it as peaceful but full of energy.

We didn't know each other then - I guess we still don't. But I did see you when you spoke about your work at Quilt National last May, and remember you and your work very well.

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