Driving America's Art Scene - Hunterdon County, NJ USA

Susan Mania

Susan Mania



Through the observation of form, color and growth in the natural world, in the working of the garden and stewardship of woodlands, water and land, dynamic movements are revealed. All that is presented here, the cycles of plants, the breaking down of minerals, animal migrations and the coming and going of the seasons present a multitude of ordered and ever changing relationships that form the conceptual ground and organize the visual language in my work.

Patterns of water run off, milkweed pods, the flying propellers of the maple seed or the roots of fallen trees are some of the many forms that arise in my work. A witness to changes in weather and impacts on the land make visible what at first may not be seen, but is revealed through time and observation. Bound together all these impressions coalesce in an energetic sensation that tells a story of connection, relationships and movement.  

My work is an interpretation of that experience, not a direct rendering or actual description, but a process that is intuitive and carries within it a sense of place. Images are presented in a non-direct way in an effort to reveal what can be called the un-seen. Discovering the miraculous in the common, to tell the story behind the story, and make the inherent connections with our own human striving.

Work is primarily executed in oil paint, and fiber collage. My back-ground in fiber arts and its rich surface textures are woven into the works’ narrative. Through the practice of gathering materials from the land and producing dye stuffs that are then used to color fiber I can more deeply connect with the rhythms of the land. Each textual element vibrates with its own history. Individual components of form are re-mixed and organized to bring both a new composition of dynamic movement and color realities found in the natural environment. Meaning is organically born out in the process of making.