Landscape Design - Winner 2001
Susanna Heron (b. 1949 – ) hon FRIBA is a British artist who works primarily between drawing, sculpture, scale and movement.
In the 1980’s Heron exhibited sculptural works using the peripatetic body in space as the measure in her work. Frieze 1983-84 (Papier-mâché and aluminium leaf wall piece) was shown in her first sculpture exhibition at Whitechapel Art Gallery in 1985. Followed by exhibitions at Plymouth Arts Centre (1986), The Showroom (1987), Camden Arts Centre (1989) and Newlyn Art Gallery (1992).
Heron became involved in the regeneration of Will Arnold Forster's garden at Eagles Nest in 1987. She exhibited a series of related works in 1992 including engravings on slate salvaged from pool tables, and Shima: Island and Garden a book and series of cibachrome photographs. (Arts Council Collection)
In 2002 Heron made the Elements drawings a series of ink drawings originally made for a commission in Tokyo in 2001 but which have evolved as a body of work to be recreated and transformed by location, scale and substance. 'The Elements drawings… are in a sense metaphors for scale and for time. Like mathematical systems, they are elements, essences, reproducible at any size. They can be used in the building in Tokyo, in a London street, on the walls of a gallery or as tiny prints. Like found objects they are transportable; but the experience of the works is specific, rooted in a particular time and place.' Caroline Collier. In 2002 Heron exhibited Elements a site specific installation of large scale wall drawings for the Warwick Arts Centre.
In 1995 Heron completed her first site specific commission Slate Frieze, 23 rectangular slabs of engraved slate over a 21m length wall in the Council of the European Union, Brussels. This was closely followed by her first landscape works Island, a work in three parts along a path (by coincidence another 21m length) for the new British Embassy in Dublin and Sunken Courtyard, Hackney College London.
Other site specific works and collaborations followed including: Waterwindow 1998 - 2003, a waterfall sited at the change in levels between Priory Garden and Priory Place in Coventry; 36 Elements: Glass Wall 2001-2002, a 50 ft structural glass wall for the Shin-Marunouchi Building in Tokyo, sandblasted and etched with 36 drawings from the Elements series; and between 2001-2003 Side Street a covered pedestrian passage linking Millbank to John Islip Street incorporating four vertical panels of slate with engravings for City Inn, Westminster.
In 2003 Heron was commissioned to create Aquaduct, a choreographic landscape work incorporating running water for the central space of The Brunswick Centre in Bloomsbury, completed in 2006. In this period Heron was also commissioned for a major external artwork titled Still Point in the lea of Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral between 2004 – 2007 and a new work titled Roche a negative relief in glass and bronze for the facade of the House of Fraser at Cabot Circus, Bristol between 2005-2008.
In 2009 Heron was commissioned to make a new work titled Henslow’s Walk for the Sainsbury Laboratory, Cambridge opened in 2011. 'Employing her favoured medium of drawings in shallow relief, Heron has created a backdrop to the Laboratory’s lecture theatre intricately carved into the yellow French limestone, which forms part of the fabric of the building. Heron builds a poetic narrative that allows a work to be explored depending on the subjective engagement of the observer. Not unlike the tracery of a palimpsest each paired drawing appears as though connected by an invisible presence.' The Sainsbury Laboratory: science, architecture, art.