The Artist
Susan Fireside

My artwork explores the dichotomy of controlling and releasing, the need for perfection and embracing authenticity and change, and how we practice spirituality as part of a personal practice and public display of who we are. I look at how these opposing ideas can somehow live together to create a space in between.

As I was studying zen principles of design, I came across the philosophy of wabi sabi. Characteristics include asymmetry, simplicity, intimacy, appreciation of the process and understated elegance. It also relishes in the beauty of aging, which I found in nature to be the source for so much inspiration as elements start to take on a new life as they go through the process of decay.

As a minimalist and perfectionist it was important for me to explore my art using new mediums and a different narrative. The work you see here is a bridge between analogue and digital. My way of connecting to something that feels grounded, authentic, and personal.

I chose the symbol of the mandala, which is a spiritual and ritual symbol found in many cultures, employed for focusing attention of practitioners as a spiritual guidance tool, for establishing a sacred space, and as an aid to meditation as the element that connects all these pieces together in some form. Mandalas often exhibit a radial balance, and I like to play with that balance by often times offsetting the work. There is a perfection found in the shape, and when created with organic materials and found objects, there is a natural play at work that continues to explore the concepts of dichotomy that I find so fascinating.

Susan Fireside, artist