Lothian Lament
By Susie Paterson

Subject Matter
Reg. Number
66 x 47 cm

This screenprint by Susie Paterson uses abstract elements to build up a human face composed of signs and shapes. This work is one of a series of such faces, expressive of different moods and moments, using the visual vocabulary of 'doodles'.

When describing the composition of "Lothian Lament", Susie describes it as "square black background representing an abstracted face/map/environment with symbolic shapes and textures overlaid".

It depicts a man's face, with his open mouth framed by a drooping moustache to give him a comic, hangdog look. The open mouth suggests a spiral, a motif seen in Susie's other works, such as "The Tree Man". She describes the arrows and zig-zags as "descriptions of unseen energies and movements, a bit like vibration lines in a cartoon".

The piece incorporates text from a traffic sign, which reads 'Changed Priorities', and the word THRIVING, in capitals reminiscent of a newspaper headline, which provides a visual counterpoint to the title. Susie says: "I love road signs and their weird wording, and the changed priorities sign has always caught my fancy".

Susie believes that the image of this piece came before the title: ""I worked in a much more intuitive, even organic way, starting with quite a bold set of shapes in the beginning, then blurring and obscuring them slightly with the consequent layers, textures and photographic motifs".

Furthermore, she states that she "love[s] the relationship between words and images, and [has] a real passion for the power that visual communication has, to make the combination of these elements more than just the sum of their parts. Originally trained as a Fine Artist in the area of painting, I have always had a strong interest in the use of colour and form within an image; this makes me confident and unafraid of trusting my instincts when creating design work".

Susie Paterson was born in 1957 and trained at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art in Dundee. She has been Screenprinting Technician at Dundee Printmakers Workshop and at Duncan of Jordanstone College.

She has exhibited her prints regularly in Scotland and internationally with various artists' groups including the Society of Scottish Artists and the four Printmaking Workshops in Dundee, Edinburgh, Aberdeen and Glasgow.

Susie recently retrained as a graphic designer, completing an HND in Visual Communications and Digital Design at Edinburgh’s Telford College, and now works as a graphic designer.

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