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Suzie McMurtry



︎ ︎ ︎ 

︎Dezeen
︎Dutch Design Week 2022
︎UAL Graduate Showcase 2022 


bio


Suzie is an artist / designer from the San Francisco Bay Area currently living in London where she just completed an MA in Material Futures at Central Saint Martins.

Broadly, she’s interested in socio-ecological systems. She has a background in fiber & printmaking & has been working in sustainable fashion since 2017. Her making research practice is directed towards exploring climate resilience, material semiotics of the Cthulucene, environmental justice, circularity, greenwashing, & regenerative design. She is exploring these themes using various mediums within critical, speculative, clothing, material, & social design.
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I’m open to collaborative projects & project-based environmental research work; please reach out!
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I’m reading...
Ursula K. Le Guin
Octavia Butler
Maria Puig de la Bellacasa
Donna Haraway
Shoshanna Zuboff
Robin Wall Kimmerer
Timothy Morton
Jia Tolentino
Jenny Odell
Durga Chew Bose
Naomi Klein
Center for Humane Technology


contact

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︎London
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Revisiting Settling


A multimedia exhibition of printed, dyed, sewn, and projected works produced out of a rumination on regional ecological family history.





This series of three canvases includes depictions of my grandmother in San Francisco in 1933, e-commerce style images of clothing I made or altered, and photographs of palm trees in front of my current home in the East Bay. In the short film, footage from around the area is projected onto these paintings. The impetus for this particular rumination on family history, memory, ecology, and settlement in California was one invasive tree, whose leaves produce a bright orange dye.

In the 1950s my grandmother planted a Eucalyptus cinerea, or Silver Dollar Gum, this purpose. This single act, done almost exactly a century after another eucalyptus species was first set loose in the Bay Area by colonizers who somehow thought it would make good lumber, feels different—isolated. I have been harvesting leaves every few months to dye wool since my grandmother first told me of its color.

The revelation of the orange dye-producing tree coincided with our unearthing of a family loom from the basement about 50 yards away. Although the present pandemic has slowed my ability to weave on that loom in my grandparents’ living space, this extracting, dyeing, projecting, and processing of photographs has been a way of asking: what should be done with the physical products of our ancestors’ decisions? These things are not static nor disconnected from larger systems, though they may feel that way to the individual. I’m reminded of this at least every few months when I harvest leaves for another dye bath; the spot on the trunk I’ve taken from has always at least doubled in rapid, invasive growth.


August 21st, 2020 update:
Much of the land in this footage has burned in the SCU Lightning Complex Fires. Among destruction and other regrowth, certain native plants that have been dormant for decades underneath invasive grasses, can grow again after a fire when those grasses are burned away.

works:
Clothestile I
photographic transfer & dye on canvas
48" x 72"
2019

Me in the Park 1933
graphite, dye, collage & oil on canvas
36" x 60"
2019

Orange Palm Hearts
photographic transfer & dye on canvas
36” x 48”
2020

for Artists’ Television Access
© Suzie McMurtry 2020