Six questions for
Sue Palmer Stone

Tique asks six questions to an artist about their work and inspiration.
This week: Sue Palmer Stone.

Artist Sue Palmer Stone
Lives in Mostly New England, often Southern California

How do you describe your own art practice?

Recently, my work is sitting at the juncture of photography and sculpture.It’s a very physical experience for me, very tactile, hands-on. I’m creating sculptures to be photographed, moving objects around a scene, collecting them for later use, or asking my human subjects to hold items in a certain position. Sometimes, it feels very serious and sometimes I try to incorporate a little humor.

Which question or theme is central in your work?

The tension generated by uncertainty, precariousness, and vulnerability vs strength and fragility vs solidity — these are central concepts.

What was your first experience with art?

I was lucky that the art education in the public schools I attended was excellent, so I remember creating art with serious instructors even in elementary school. But I also remember sitting silently, and with huge curiosity, next to my grandfather in an area of his family room carved out as a studio (circa 1968) and watching him paint New England landscapes with oils or pastels..

What is your greatest source of inspiration?

My need to generate coherence and harmony in a dissonant, fragile, and precarious world. I get a boost of creative energy from unexpected finds in gritty areas that aren’t intended for public view, like alleyways, construction sites or behind strip malls. Pretty, manicured, neat environments sap me of my artistic energy.

What do you need in order to create your work?

My lightweight mirrorless camera, comfortable sneakers for outside work, and inside I need a studio full of scraps/discarded materials.

What work or artist has most recently surprised you?

The work of Rodrigo Valenzuela. I was drawn to his work initially because, to my eye, it incorporates photography and sculpture. My first reaction to it was, “Wow, you can do that?!” It’s very conceptual, but on the surface what I see are built environments for structures/sculptures from cast-off items and construction materials.His work is tactile and textured.
His recent creations repurpose “curved and indented non-objects, layering them into dense piles, towers, and precariously-balanced agglomerations.” (Collector Daily, Dec. 2020). I was lucky enough to have a conversation with him a few years ago in New York; it was fascinating to learn about the intellectual and political aspects of his work that’s borne out of a very labor-intensive art-making process.

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