Artists see things differently than the rest of us. While the world and all of its happenings glance off us and bounce along the continuum of time, people like Susan Tilsley Manley have the ability to capture these little moments and give them permanence in an impermanent world.
Susan’s studio on the main floor of her family home in Durham, Pictou County is not unlike most artist studios…there’s a lot going on. Several pieces of quilt art or “soft work” as she refers to it, hang along the left wall when you enter her space. The eye of a giraffe blinks at me, one of a series where she studies how easy it is to recognize animals just by looking them in the eye. Another hanging tells the story of bullying and the perils of social media and then one of her favourite pieces, “Candle with Hair.” An illustration that some how creates movement and light with hundreds of pieces of fabric and thousands of tiny stitches.
“Candle With Hair” was a challenge piece from one of her artist collectives. The challenge was to create an image that was a “Spoonerism,” a play on words where consonants or vowels are switched between two words in a phrase. “Candle With Hair” translates to “Handle With Care.” Good advice for a little girl with golden tresses dancing around a flickering candle flame.
Many people believe that a flickering candle means the presence of a spirit. Susan’s spirit is present in everything she puts her hands to. For more information and a chance to view Susan’s work visit her website www.susantm.com.