Susan Wilson, Wild London

Browse & Darby are delighted to announce an exhibition of recent works by Susan Wilson, Wild London. Wilson was born in New Zealand, on the South Island. As a young woman, she hitchhiked around Spain, Peru, Bolivia, and Ecuador, working for a time as a nurse, before beginning study at Camberwell School of Art and the Royal Academy Schools. She was later made a Fellow of Cheltenham & Gloucester College, and has been widely awarded. Wilson is a tutor at the Royal Drawing School, artist interpreter at the National Portrait Gallery and an ARTES committee member.

Wormwood Scrubs, the wild land near my house, is full of butterflies, bees, flowering thistles, lace cap, blackberry, plums, buttercups, chamomile, may, hawthorn, vetch, gorse, lupins and broom.

Each day I walk across through this richness with my English Pointer, where migratory birds pass through and you might even see a barn owl. Kestrels live on the voles, and hover over the wilderness; swifts in summer, especially on a day with a little cloud and rain, majestic in their swooping and swirling.

I’ve been secreting myself away in amidst Michaelmas daisies, blackberry and plum, to paint en plein air, taking notes as I walk and making small sketches of what I see.

Until I got dogs fifteen years ago I never ventured into the wild of London. The dog brought it to life, animated and enlivened it. You wouldn’t go out at dusk without one, but now I do and with their dogs will walk in the night, glorious when you have a supermoon!

These paintings were all made in North Kensington where I have had a studio since 1985. I am more of a Londoner than I thought, my grandfather, a Dorsetshire man came to London to work in the shipbuilding industry by Trinity Buoy Wharf where I have taught for the Royal Drawing School. He was in the Thames Ironworks and Shipbuilding Yards, recently excavated by archaeologists for Crossrail. From here he and his family sailed to New Zealand in 1911. Here he began a new life as an engineer on Hydro dams. He could make fine inlaid work being very ingenious as a maker and designer. Some of these new, small works are dedicated to my grandmother, his wife, whom I never knew.

If the weather is too vile I paint fruit and flowers I’ve mostly grown in the garden. Oh, and the dogs. Figs, quinces, buddleia. It’s all direct and from observation. I like to have the motif in front of me.

Susan Wilson Wild London 10th October – 2nd November 2018






Artist Talk

16th October 1 pm @ Browse & Darby

Join us at Browse & Darby for a talk by artist Susan Wilson about her exhibition. To book your place please click here.