PHOENIX artist of the Month: Suzanne O'Haire
How long have you been at Phoenix?
I moved in to a temporary space last September, and recently moved again to a permanent studio, so I’ve just about got all ship-shape now.
What are you working on at the moment?
I never really focus on one thing at a time, and tend to work on various series at different stages at the same time. There’s a set of 5 pieces that I was working on last summer, but I hit a wall. I knew they weren’t resolved but I just couldn’t get my head around where to take them, so I stepped away. But a few weeks back I had what I call a ‘ping’ moment, so I’m currently researching how I can make this happen as it’s a bit technical for me so I may need to source a fabricator. Also, I’m very assured about the domestic scale I choose to work with, but increasingly certain pieces are prodding me to become larger, and this challenges me – so again more research. Oh, and trying to sort out a new website, which for me is like having teeth pulled!
Which media do you like to use?
Everything and anything. My work is predominantly 3D and I use whatever I feel is appropriate. I use casting quite a lot as a process, and have worked with porcelain and within a foundry, but my fundamental media is collected everyday objects and matter that has been discarded.
Which other artists do you admire?
It’s more that I can admire a piece of work rather than an artist in the whole, which is an endless list. To name a handful is difficult, but if pushed… Marcel Duchamp, Eva Hesse, Goya, Louise Bourgeois, Dieter Rams, Phyllida Barlow, Donald Judd, Le Corbusier, Naum Gabo, Cotan, Sol LeWitt, Maholy Nagy….argh, this is a daft question.
What would you recommend to go see?
Shrigley’s ‘Really Good’ Fourth Plinth. I enjoyed “Towards Night’ at the Towner, but I think that may finish soon. Farley Farm, Lee Miller and Roland Penrose’s home, so intimate and utterly beautiful. I’m not so good on big shows these days, but at the mo it has to be the Rauschenberg at the Tate. Really want to get to the ‘Thinking Tantra’ show at the Drawing Room. Oh, bit cheeky this one, ‘Collective’ at the Devonshire Collective in Eastbourne – I’ve got a few pieces in this.
Is there a piece of work you’re particularly proud of?
I did an MA six years back, and the result of that experience was probably the first time I felt comfortable standing by my work. Proud is an odd one for me. As soon as a piece is finished, I’m done with it really, fulfilment happens during the making for me. I do the work I need to do, when it’s resolved there’s some sense of satisfaction I suppose, but it’s quickly dispelled by the self doubt of what’s to come next! It’s all about the carrot on the stick.
For more about Suzanne, see her website. Photographed by Manel Ortega.