For fifteen years, Susanna Bauer has made a practice of gathering fallen leaves, carefully washing and drying them in order to crochet them using cotton thread, and in so doing has developed a language that is uniquely her own. “Taking time beneath trees, gathering leaves, contemplating their shapes, imperfections, and details lies at the basis of my process. Along with this quiet gathering, stories form, dialogues between leaves emerge, reflections on time and change and interpersonal connections,” she explains.
Each work is open to individual interpretation, every leaf bringing its own character with its network of veins reminiscent of individual fingerprints. Often arranged in pairs the leaves evoke thoughts about belonging and connection, other pieces speak of identity, healing and hope.
Taking inspiration from antique lace patterns and microscopic cell structures, Bauer uses the traditional craft of crochet to express her admiration for the infinite complexity and beauty of the natural world. Bauer works on a very small scale with the finest crochet hooks and thin cotton thread to produce the delicate seams and textures that join, combine, and frame her leaf compositions.
Balancing the fragility of a dry leaf and the pull of the thread that pierces it requires an intense concentration that only a desire to underline and honor the beauty and intricate details of the material can lead to such a masterful effect. Using surgically precise gestures, the artist navigates between tension and tenderness in order to create new forms. Both caretaker and re-inventor, she applies her vision with incredible delicacy.
Following her studies in landscape architecture, Susanna Bauer worked as a modelmaker for film, advertising and artists in Germany, Ireland, and Great Britain. At the same time, she was also studying at Camberwell College of Art. Susanna Bauer lives and works in southwest England. She exhibits regularly in the United Kingdom, the United States and Switzerland. Her work has also been shown in the Netherlands, Italy, Hong Kong, Japan, and recently in India.