Graceful, Ephemeral and Opulent: The Art of Susie MacMurray

02/17/2012 12:37 pm ET | Updated Apr 18, 2012

A first encounter with the work of artist Susie MacMurray inevitably places the viewer right at the centre of the key issue in her work -- the tension between extremes of sensual and aesthetic response: Ying/yang; anima/animus; soft/hard; a dress/not a dress; love/death; freedom/constraint; power/submission.

--- Excerpt from the accompanying catalogue of the exhibit "The Eyes of the Skin" at Agnew's Gallery.

Susie MacMurray's use of materials is provocative and perturbing. A bridal gown is ironically made out of thousands of household gloves, an allusion to domestic reality. Each glove is turned inside out to reveal its pale downy interior, like flayed skin, they are testament to the vulnerability of humankind. Though disparate in their appearance, each of MacMurray's work is linked by its evocation of the body or the bodily. Transforming the banal -- hairnets, balloons, wires, cling film, pins and household gloves -- into the graceful and opulent, the creations emerge as spectacular sculptures.

Susie MacMurray lives and works in Manchester, UK. Her work was recently on show at the Victoria & Albert Museum's The Power of Making and has previously been exhibited at the Royal Academy, London, Manchester Art Gallery, Museum of Art and Design, NY, and the Museum of Architecture & Design, Los Angeles. Her most recent art pieces (The Eyes of the Skin) were on view at Agnew's Gallery, London.

Susie MacMurray
Garment Sculptures
A Mixture of Frailties, 2004 1400 yellow household gloves turned inside out, calico

Gladrags, 2002 10,000 fuschia pink balloons, rug underlay
Icon, 2002 15,000 metallic blue balloons, rug underlay

Widow, 2009 Black napa leather, 43 kg adamantine dress maker's pins

Feast, 2011 Food wrap, thread, steel bracket

Wax pieces Anima 2011 Rubber air compressor hose, wax, steel bracket
Animus 2011 Rubber air compressor hose, wax, shell bracket
Swarm II, 2011 Wax, steel pins

Attachment 2011
Wax, fish hooks
Gauze Bandage no. 6, 2011
Ink on paper
Stretched Hairnet no. 1, 2011
Ink on paper
Via Trouvaillesdujour