Susanna Bauer is a German-born artist who combines pure objects like leaves, stones, and items of wooden with crocheting to create extremely detailed miniature sculptures. Upon first look, you immediately see how intricate her artworks are and as Susanna herself writes, they present a real stability between fragility and power – and never solely in a figurative sense. It takes ability, stability, and persistence to work with tiny fragile dried leaves with out breaking them and Susanna’s works offer you a chilled feeling of serenity when seen.
“There is a fine balance in my work between fragility and strength; literally, when it comes to pulling a fine thread through a brittle leaf or thin dry piece of wood, but also in a wider context – the tenderness and tension in human connections, the transient yet enduring beauty of nature that can be found in the smallest detail, vulnerability and resilience that could be transferred to nature as a whole or the stories of individual beings,” says the artist.
“Everything That Surrounds Us”
“Crochet is a traditional craft, which can be both functional and decorative, although in my work I seek to transcend these attributes,” says Susanna in her artist assertion.
“The craft technique of crochet becomes a sculptural method, my means to the expression of ideas and emotions, and by that it bridges the gap between craft and fine art. I create my leaf pieces with very fine hooks, needles and thin cotton threads and by working on a very detailed and small level I am pushing crochet to its very limits.”
“Combining this method with such a fragile material as leaves highlights the delicate nature of the subject matter that I’m interested in – the tenderness and tension in human connections, the transient yet enduring beauty of nature that can be found in the smallest detail, vulnerability and resilience that could be transferred to nature as a whole or the stories of individual beings.”
“The technical part of my work and the use of natural leaves highlights this balance of fragility and strength. Working with tension is an integral part of crochet work, but it can also be seen metaphorically, as managing tension plays a big part in our lives and our surroundings,” says the artist.
“‘Cube Tree No.5”
“Each leaf comes with its own unique character and by dedicating time to a seemingly so impermanent, yet so perfectly shaped object, the work becomes a tribute to nature, but also a mirror of ourselves and the world around us, evoking thoughts about time, individuality and transience on many different levels and opening eyes to the ephemeral yet enduring beauty of nature.”
“Bauer’s focus is intense, particularly when she is working with threads and leaves. Her art is considered and deliberate, suggesting a concentration akin to meditation,” writes Scott Rothstein of Hand/Eye journal. “Although small in scale, each transformed leaf becomes an engaging miniature sculpture.”
“It is hard to look at these pieces and not be mesmerized. The idea that something so small, fragile and insignificant as a leaf becomes the foundation of a sculpture challenges expectations and holds the viewer’s attention.”
“The leaf works are powerful examples of the interface between artist and nature. Many artists are inspired by nature and attempt to imitate what they see in the natural world,” continues Scott. “Bauer, on the other hand, includes natural elements into her work as if she is actually collaborating with nature. In these pieces, the leaf is not simply a surface to work on or a piece of raw material to be used at will.”
“For Bauer, the leaf is an element deserving respect and consideration. What she adds to it, or subtracts from it, is done with a sense of reverence. Her efforts enhance the natural beauty that was her starting point. ”
All images taken by http://art-photographers.co.uk/.