52 Playing cards in 52 weeks – artist statement

Susan Brisco

It’s always a delight to watch the ever-changing forms of nature quietly appearing and slowly growing throughout the seasons.

My work presented was inspired from observations and drawings made during nature walks, starting in spring featuring catkins, snowdrops, and daffodils, followed by bluebells and blossom forms. There were inspirations from walks on the seashore, interactions with exotic forms observed in Kew Gardens and the presence of mycelium spores connecting the underground via the wood-wide web.  My summer and autumn were spent travelling in Italy where I became fascinated by the forms of cacti and various insects.

Using an art-science approach, detailed observations referenced botanical drawing styles.  My chosen medium included experiments with interference inks whose reflective particles refract the light in different directions.  Each study presented was drawn directly onto the back of a playing card, observing new perspectives and magnified forms to depict the amazing charms of nature over the year.

There is an exhibition of these playing card drawings  at The General Office, 12 Hagley Road Stourbridge, DY8 1PS
(Above the Co-op) Stair access only.
Tel: 07976 935413

Exhibition runs 14th – 28th April 2024  Gallery open 11am–4pm Tuesday–Sunday

Preview Evening – Saturday 13th April 2024  7-9pm

Flyer    52 weeks invites

My thoughts of the project

The process of this project  was an enjoyable challenge. It encouraged me to explore a more  contemporary approach to botanical drawing and helped me become more observant  on nature walks as I researched and connected with nature in new ways. Working small scale was a new experience and facilitated an experimental mark making approach as I investigated with  interference inks on an unusual laminated surface substrate.

I am  inspired by traditional forms of  botanical illustration where the  science of plants combines with art. I  especially revere  the works done by old master Franz Bauer (1758-1840) who had the exciting job at Kew  of scientifically illustrating the exotic flora and fauna bought back from expeditions all  around the world. The drawings Franz Bauer made while he was at Kew have much scientific value and have become a historic record of the development of plant science.

52 weeks invites