Susan Stockwell is a visual artist born in Manchester, predominantly making installations, sculptures, collages, film, and drawings.
Similar to the function of synecdoche in linguistics, Stockwell’s use of quotidian materials – toilet paper, recycled computer components, rubber, tea, maps, and other domestic and manufacturing products – signal to the wider ecological, colonial and material references to contemporary issues.
Stockwell is also interested in participatory art practice and has worked with a range of groups including inmates from Wandsworth Prison (Fine Cell Works). In 2013 she made Sail Away, an interactive installation in the Turbine Hall of Tate Modern for the Hyperlink Festival curated by Tate Collective. In 2015 she was Artist in Residence at the Royal Shakespeare Company in Stratford-upon-Avon where she developed new work for exhibition in the RSC’s public and gallery spaces (April-September 2015). The work was made in response to the plays, Othello and The Merchant of Venice and to the carefully choreographed range of hidden activity, which occurs backstage and behind the live performance, from costume-making to rigging to rehearsal.
Stockwell has contributed to a number of Iniva’s events. In 2016, she was in conversation with designer, writer and curator Dr. Christine Shaw-Checinska for ‘Clothes, Cloth, and Culture Group‘, a public discussion exploring the materiality and haptic quality present in Susan’s use of every-day ‘stuff’ – cloth, bank notes, coffee, maps – to make work. In 2010, her work was shown in ‘Whose Map Is It?’, a group exhibition at Iniva questioning the underlying structures and hierarchies that inform traditional mapmaking.
In 2007 she was an artist in residence at the ‘Taiwan-England Artists Fellowship Programme’, British Council, Arts Council of England, and Council for Cultural Affairs, Taiwan. In 2009, she was an artist in residence at ‘Mapping the Body’, The Florence Nightingale Museum, St Thomas’ Hospital, London, UK. In 2005-6 she was an artist in residence at Shenghua Art Centre, Nanjing, China.
Her solo exhibitions include SEA-MARKINGS at Royal Shakespeare Company, Stratford-upon-Avon (2015); Sweet Plums at Patrick Heide Contemporary Art, London (2015); Sail Away at TATE Modern Turbine Hall, London (2013); Silver Thread of Empire at Patrick Heide Contemporary, London (2013); Flood at York City Art Gallery, York St Marys (2010); Susan Stockwell Selected Works at the Victoria & Albert Museum, London (2001); Vulnerable Ecologies at Art league, Houston, Texas USA (2009); B-side Ecology, The HONG Foundation, Taipei, Taiwan (2008).
Susan Stockwell lives and works in London where she is also Senior Lecturer in Fine Art at The University of East London.