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Su Moraes: Artist of the Week

Updated: Dec 20, 2020

This week we will be looking at various projects that artist Su Moraes has created.

Su is an artist who explores a variety of media and processes, from film, collage to sculpture. She has recently been creating art that explores her experiences of being an immigrant. If you want to find out more about Su's artwork you can read our Q&A below. You can find more amazing images of Su's artwork @_artensu_.

Can you briefly describe your art practice?

My work in the past few years has been based on my own experiences of being an immigrant and how I can relate and understand others, the world around me and how people are shaped by those experiences. I have shifted a lot throughout my artist life, to find a style to settle in and call my own, and I find that an interesting reflection of how I've done the same thing in a physical way, displacing myself to find home. 

Is there a piece of art that you are most proud of creating? Why?

​I remember my first piece of work when I started art school at Margaret Street. The module was called Time Matters and I had this idea of creating a large room with no windows that had a beam of light on a kinetic object in the middle of the room which was interactive and it would cause the public to lose track of time. However, I had not enough time to create it so I had a last minute idea to create a small box in which you could pop your head into it and be instantaneously transported into a different space but still belong to the space you were originally in. The box had words which has and still define my life such as, dream, fear, ambition, music, love etc, and I wanted the viewer to immerse themselves into their own words and spend time with it, processing, feeling, acknowledging and accepting that we all have struggles and successes and that it is okay to stop and reflect.

Su Moraes, Installation at Centrala Gallery, Birmingham, 2020.

Your artwork is described as exploring ideas of socio-economic discrepancies, can you elaborate on this concept in your work?

​I usually use topics within my work which I have experienced, but in no way are they exclusive to me. Moving from Brazil to England was a massive jump in the socio-economical spectrum. I come from a working class family, we had what we needed and never went without however, we did not have extra for holidays abroad or other luxuries. Coming to England was a shock and an excitement. I realised that I too could achieve something and if I could, so could others. With that discovery, a sense of social justice grew on me and I started to make work related to this subject, although it's not very explicit in some works - but it is still there.

You have worked in a variety of mediums, from printmaking, painting and recently photo-collage. How do you start to engage with different approaches to art making?

​I have been trying you find what medium conveys the message I want to get out there in the best, most touching way possible. In consequent, I have worked with a lot of different things but most recently I have found video and sound to be the best and most engaging way I can do this.

Su Moraes, Embossing on Paper and Flag, 2020.

Is there an element of art you like or dislike working with most? Why?

There's nothing I dislike about the process of art making itself, however, I do dislike my role in the process. I can be become quite stuck sometimes and be too critical of my work without allowing it to breath and become its own thing and putting it out there for the world to judge it. 

I love the freedom and the self expression room that art making provides. It's great to make what you love and make that your job. 

What projects have you recently completed?

​I have recently made a video titled "the displacement of organic matter in a geographical plane" which have received good feedback and has made me happy. I have also been venturing with embroidery, I love how it looks of fabric and so I've been practising that. I have also been drawing more.

Su Moraes, Digital Collage, 2020.

Why do you make this type of art?

Not sure, apart from I like it and it gives me satisfaction - plus I feel like it's art for change not just for the sake of making art.

How do you make it?

I use Adobe Premiere to edit and collect all footage and tracks I have, I then work out what I want to say and make a plan as to how to compile the files I have in the best way to bring that about. Sometimes I don't have a plan so everyday I just get into Premiere and go with it until I end up where I'm supposed to.

What kind of artists do you enjoy looking at and how have they influenced your current practice?

I love activism and storytelling artists. I particularly love John Akomfrah and the way he tells a story through his videos. I also love Olafur Eliasson and French artist JR

Su Moraes, Screen Print, 2020.

How do you engage with online platforms with your artwork? Do you find these types of online communities important for an emerging artist?

I use Instagram and a website to engage. I think it is incredibly important for an emerging artist. It gives us  visibility and that's what we need.

As we all know, COVID-19 has had a very disrupted impact specifically on the creative industries. Can you describe your experiences trying to create art during lock-down?

It has been difficult as I'm sure it has been for a lot of artists. However, I have found that I have enjoyed finding out about myself, my art and how I can be better at both of these things!

How can we contact you?

My Instagram: @_artensu_

It has been very enjoyable to talk to Su about her approach to art-making, we hope that you have also enjoyed viewing some of the many projects Su has made and have liked getting to know the themes and concepts behind the artwork.

If you are interested in being featured as an Artist of the Week you can fill out a short application form here.

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