Susan Buret

Susan Buret lives in the Southern Highlands of New South Wales and is currently represented by Anita Traverso Gallery.


Susan returned to her art practice after a long break in 2000. She has been working full time as an artist since 2003.

Her blog is

Susan works in the mediums of painting, collage, installation and video.

Artist Statement

More stolen geometry from the gardens of love.

Maps are often very beautiful. A combination of the cartographer’s art and military conquest reveals a pattern of fragments put together to create a whole much like a mosaic or a quilt. The result provides an indication of not only where one might go but also where one is not welcome.

Working with map fragments and the geometric patterns used across cultures to decorate and claim home and places of worship these works explore ideas of diaspora, displacement and the search for refuge.

Susan Buret

November 2010


What can  you tell us about your work?

My work is predominantly non-objective. I am interested in pattern and occasionally include objective elements in the patterns. Other things which are of interest include; issues of immigration, diaspora, the civilian victims of war and the rights of the individual to have a safe home …a refuge.

What are you currently working on?

I am just finishing a body of work for a solo exhibition at loft gallery, a new contemporary art space in Bowral, NSW.


What fascinates you?

I love the patterns with which we decorate our homes and buildings. Oriental rugs, mosaic patterns, quilt patterns, china patterns and the geometry that underlies these patterns. For me these patterns symbolize the claiming of place as one’s own. I find it particularly interesting that some patterns occurs in many different cultures: that the Amish and the nomadic tribes of the middle east might chose the same patterns to decorate their textiles and that these patterns also occur in Christian Churches.

Why are you an Artist?

I am an artist because I have the need to create work. I try to work in my studio every day. It took a few years to find my ‘voice’ but I now produce prolifically.

When I was at school I wanted to go to Art College but was encouraged to get a more ‘traditional’ education and graduated with a degree majoring in Psychology and Art History. After selling a business in 2002 I knew that I had to be an artist.


Before becoming an artist…

I worked as a statistician and a restaurateur.

Big Buzz points in  your career thus far.

There are two things. In 2005 I was a finalist in the Blake Prize. It was the first time I saw my work hung alongside the work of ‘established’ artists who I admired and respected. In 2008 I had my first residency at Bundanon. It is a magical place and gave me the space to think and expand my ideas. It was an extraordinary gift.


How do you define success?

In Visual Art this is very subjective. For some it is money or fame which are indicators of success. For me success is measured by the respect of my peers.

Creative streaks do they come in waves?

I am lucky in that the creative process does come relatively easily for me.

Several years ago I gave myself permission to make work without the expectations of success or even producing a finished work. If something doesn’t work for me I throw it away and stretch fresh linen on the stretcher.

Despite the repetitive nature of my work, I work fairly intuitively without a fixed vision of the finished work.

The other ‘epiphany’ came when I decided to respect the opinions of those who don’t like my work. I just accept that my work doesn’t appeal to everyone and I make work for myself rather than for an audience.


Do you have any special descriptions of Art?

Clarity of concept is very important to me, more important than the appearance of the work. I have been making work about the same issues for the past 6 years refining my ideas about issues of identity and developing my knowledge of pattern.

Do you have much contact with other Artists?

I am fortunate to live in an area where there are lots of other artists. I socialise predominantly with other artists. I also have a long term collaborative relationship with Nicola Moss, a Queensland Artist. We have been working on a project about weather for several years. We have a residency at Montsalvat coming up in October this year and contact one another several times a week.

When we began the project I liked the idea of using serial observation as a tool in my practice and the opportunity it provided to interact with other artists. Recent events have meant that the project ties in with the ideas of home and refuge that from the basis of my individual practice.


Is exhibiting a daunting task?

Yes, there is not only the work but the deadlines associated with mail outs, media releases etc. Also the logistics of packing and sending work can take up several days. The other difficult part of my practice is dealing with the fact that exhibitions and opportunities tend to cluster. It is very easy to be over committed as one tries to take up all the opportunities to advance one’s career.


Messages in  your work?

While my work obviously has a political message and, I would like the viewer to think about it. I try to produce work that is not ‘in your face’. I hope that the repetition and persistence in my work will cause the viewer to think more about the ideas behind the work. However if the viewer only engages with the patterned surface I respect their choice.


Do you think Art can change peoples perceptions?

I am moved by the plight of refugees and the civilian victims of war. I had an idyllic childhood and was brought up to believe I could achieve anything I wanted. I was fortunate to have parents who believed that women should have the same opportunities as men. My work strives to draw attention to wide gap between the security of my home environment and the plight of those living in war zones.


Any particular time you like to work?

I like to work during the day. I have a studio with north facing windows and skylights in the southern slope of the roof. I like to work using natural light. I very rarely work at night.


Any Awards you want to tell us about?

I was the winner of the 2006 Conrad Jupiter’s art Award and the 2008 Pine Rivers Art Award

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Compiled and edited by Steve Gray © 2009+

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One Response to “Susan Buret”

  1. Ursula on March 23rd, 2011 8:53 am

    Love your work. I am also drawn to pattern and repetition and find your mark making tantalising and insightful. I enjoyed your interview. Are you having an exhibition during your stay at Montselvat?