Susan Hersey

Susan Hersey is a painter who, for the past twenty five years, has been working with handmade paper as a medium for wall hangings, folding screens, and more recently, illuminated sculpture. About twelve years ago, utilizing a pulp sprayer, she began to work in a three dimensional format. The sculptures are made of many layers of handmade paper pulp that are sprayed onto an armature of reed and gauze or silk with a twig or bamboo frame. They are then coated with acrylic medium and sprayed on the inside with flame retardant. For optimal sculptural effect they are illuminated from inside with low wattage bulbs. The wall hangings and folding screens are handmade paper and other media on bronze screening.

Susan Hersey has been a professional artist in the San Francisco Bay Area of California for the past thirty-five years. Her work is represented in collections worldwide. Of her work Hersey has said: “Until recently, I worked in a two dimensional format. Beginning as a painter, I responded directly to my physical environment/ seeking to express the colors and patterns in nature that I observed
at the beach and in the woods. From painting, I found my way to papermaking in the late seventies, and have found it the most versatile and sensuous vehicle for the exploration of my ideas.

The summer of 1985 was a watershed year for me. I had the good fortune to spend a month at the Djerassi Resident Artists Program in Woodside, California and also participate in a study trip to Japan. Perhaps more than any other influence, the Japanese use of rhythms of nature spoke to me, contributing to my own dialogue between simplicity and the decorative impulse.