what is a residency?

is it to travel into the hills......to a wee village where time stood still...
is it to meet wonderful people ....welcoming people ....people who take the time to communicate....sometimes with the help of 2 dictionaries .... to visit their houses...
is it to sit at the table three times a day and be served wonderful fresh food ....from the garden ....from the cow across the road ....and the chooks around the corner....
is it to lie in the grass beneath a walnut tree ....in the shade of the hot cloudless day...
is it to hear the bells around the necks of the sheep and goats as they are herded out for the day ... and brought back at night ....or the 'clop clop' of the horse and cart going by....
is it to drink brandy .... to sit for a
portrait with a master sculptor ....to be taken out to see the history of the region....
is it to have a master printmaker on hand....
is it to make art and have the company of other artists

my experience at the village of Lesidren.....is all of that and more

Beate Scheller and I were invited by Georgi Kolov and his wife Valya to spend 2 weeks in their home village in the hills of bulgaria.
it being my first residency.....I didn't know quite what to expect.
in the end ...I think....it is not about the art I did or didn't make....
it is about the people
i feel so fortunate to have experienced all this ....and so grateful to Georgi and Valya
I'll look forward to coming again ....to see the Art Village when it's quite finished

- susan hurrell fieldes
august 2013

identity series

she let it die
to join the hundreds of dead sentences
she had
inside herself

speech for me
is difficult.....

my hands
do the talking
....they show who i am
whilst this can be true
for many artists
for me
i think
it has extra poignancy

i know
i understand
the work sets me free

it was in the early hours he called.

turn the television on
a plane
has gone into the twin towers.

my work comes out of the tragedy and horror of 9/11

with the shock and disbelief
i found
there was a sense of beauty in the images transmitted across the world

this has lead me to consider the idea of the inviolable
and perceived strength of such structure
but also others
such as relationship.

i began to explore the tension between strength and vulnerability
between pain and lightness
the strength that can mask fragility
the pain which hides beauty

to me, the most important element is line
and what it is capable of expressing
in terms of connecting
and intruding

structures have many layers
most of them unapparent at first glance
glimpses of them are there

if we care enough to see

it's the music of life ..............

he is a musician
he lives above a busy corner in Little Italy
he plays double bass
the sounds outside
the beautiful noise........

the counterpoint to his improvisations
she is an artist

she lives on 39th
the sounds outside
the beautiful noise......

the ostinato to her work

'...with this body of work i aim to evoke the feeling i have whilst working on W39 between 7th & 9th.

the energy
the people
the noises
the smells
the street art

i use these elements
as the pulse
the ostinato
of the work '


185 chairs 

she’d stumbled on the end of the world 



weeds....some daring to flower.....like some warped notion of hope 

birds flying where congregations once walked 


wire fences to keep the living out and the dead safely contained 

then...........as if to make some sense.. 

....some order in the chaos.... 

185 white chairs............sitting there......in rows.....on make-believe grass.. 

how could an event so horrific.. be so calm and serene.....so orderly.......so beautiful....the sense of chaos ...of rawness and horror put aside 

the tension between the graphic expression of horror and beauty is so fine. 



Artists through time have used chairs to symbolise an absent person.  This body of work was prompted by the installation of 185 empty chairs in the middle of Christchurch, after the earthquakes in 2011.   185 people lost their lives.   

 The process i have used in the main 185 chairs piece is drypoint etching on mylar and stensils.   

February 2016