About Susannah Paterson (b. 1960)

Hello! Im currently working on building a body of work for an online show with the Contemporary Art Awards in August 2018. Lots of new work coming!

I am an artist, ceramicist and treasure hunter
I mainly paint allegorical themes and I like to create pots that make people smile.

I have always been a treasure hunter. It's a narrative that I can track right back to my earliest memories - being fascinated by the diamond trail of Jack Frost on the window pane on a Scottish winter morning, to scouring through the ancient Bronze Age settlement at the back of my childhood home hoping to find a remnant of lives lived thousands of years ago. Listening to stories of buried Viking hoards, aching to find one of my own. Hunting for ancient things in the ruins of the Norman castle on my father’s farm, which was rumored to have a long lost smugglers tunnel leading down to the cliffs below.

Later, when I became a therapist, I found myself learning to hunt for treasure in a different way .. finding the golden thread of hope, the trove of memory and meaning that would complete the picture and provide insight and healing. I wryly thought of myself as a kind of soul detective . Now, as a painter, I realise I am doing the same thing. Each work is a new quest to find the treasure hidden somewhere in between the marks I make, my own unconscious mind and my conscious skill. I am looking for beauty, potential, duality and some narrative or universality that will provide a vehicle for conversation and reflection.

My paintings emerge from a meditative state - a little like self hypnosis. At first, I don't think too much and just trust my unconscious mind to dictate the marks and the rhythm. I am looking for balance. I spend time contemplating, seeking out certain shapes that could be developed. Colours will set the mood, but then dark and light, perfect, imperfect, finished, unfinished, joy and sadness, complex and simple need to sit together in a harmonious way. I keep working until a story or theme emerges and I can look at the work as a whole and sense the golden thread of connection runs through it.

While my painting takes me into altered states of awareness, ceramics provides an important opposite of being grounded, and present. I seek to produce simple yet beautiful and unique functional pieces. Sometimes I like to make animal sculptures too, for fun, and to make myself smile .. I call these “dogimals”.

The treasure hunter is present as I explore the alchemy of elements involved in clay work.
Learning about different combinations of minerals, fluxes, silica and oxides intrigue me. The elements of water, earth, fire and air are brought together to create a vessel or a sculpture in a way that I find delightful and inspiring.

Bringing both my art and ceramics together so that they compliment each other is ever my goal. Its a treasure hunt in itself that will never end.


My education is deep and wide. I have a Masters of Applied Science (Critical Perspectives of Psychological Practice), two Diplomas in Psychotherapy and Counselling, and one in Clinical Hypnotherapy. I also hold a Certificate of Profession Practice In Buddhist Psychotherapy. I spent three years at TAFE studying fine art and ceramics, but I prefer to learn from other practicing artists in workshops and courses. . The late Kerrie Lester was an important mentor for over five years. I am currently at the Brookvale TAFE Open Studio for ceramics, mentored by Chris James.


Art Prizes
Finalist, Art Lovers Australia Art Prize 2018 (Queen of Hearts)
Finalist, Contemporary Art Prize 2018 (A Still Life)
Finalist, Contemporary Art Prize 2018 (Wide Eyed)
Finalist, Northbridge School of Visual Arts, 2017 with "Urban" & "Squashed".
Special Merit, Land, Space & Time Online gallery Global Open Competition - Wide Eyed (Back Then ..) 2017
Special Merit, Land Space & Time Online Gallery for Abstract Art - Let Sleeping Dogs Lie - 2016
Finalist, Kirribilli 40th Anniversary Art Prize 2016 My Obsession With Bowls
Finalist, Ewart Art Prize 2016 Conscious Unconscious
Finalist , Ewart Art Prize 2015 Hare & Things
Finalist and Commended 2011 48th Lane Cove Council Art Award Three Dog Night
Finalist North Sydney Art Prize 2004, 2005 & 2009
Finalist Manly Warringah Art Prize 2004

Solo Exhibitions

2015 Three Points of Attention ME Artspace, St Leonards
2013 Journeys Dreams & Daemons Ewart Gallery, Willoughby NSW
2013 The Chelsea Lane Tea Room, Avalon
2014 Artisan’s Market, The Coal Loader, Waverton
2012 Untitled, Mezze Cafe, Chatswood
2013 Untitled, Mojo Cafe, Neutral Bay

Group Exhibitions
2003 Doodle - students of Sarah Mufford Ewart Gallery, Willoughby
2007 Student Exhibition at Brookvale TAFE (Painting, Drawing & Sculpture)
2009 Student Exhibition at Brookvale TAFE (Ceramics)
2009 Students of Kristin Coburn, SOFA Landship Gallery, Mosman
2011 Art Fair 2011 Ewart Gallery Workshop Arts Centre, Willoughby
2012 Not The Bathroom Wall - students of Kerrie Lester, Ewart Gallery, Willoughby
2012 Thrown Together, ceramic exhibition by Kwirak Choung’s students, Ewart Gallery
2014 Turning, ceramic exhibition by students of Natalie Velthuyzen
2014 Hidden Volumes, ceramic exhibition by Kiwrak Choung’s students, Ewart Gallery
2015 Take The Ducks Off The Wall, Ewart Gallery, Willoughby
2016 The 20th Real Refuse, Tap Gallery, Surry Hills
2017 First Exposure , If U Like Art, Brookvale
2017 Hypmotive Hub, Marrickville


Home Design Australia - Magazine Feature, December 2017
The Mosman Daily - a few times.


Teachers: Kerrie Lester, Andrew Antoniou, Sarah Mufford, John Bokor, Michael Herron, Maryanne Wick ,
From time gone by:
Marc Chagall
Van Gogh

40cm (W) x 40cm (H)
Oil Paint
30cm (W) x 30cm (H)
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40cm (W) x 40cm (H)
Oil Paint
46cm (W) x 46cm (H)
Oil Paint
61cm (W) x 76cm (H)
Oil Paint
40cm (W) x 30cm (H)
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20cm (W) x 61cm (H)
Oil Paint
92cm (W) x 92cm (H)
Oil Paint
76cm (W) x 61cm (H)
Oil Paint
46cm (W) x 46cm (H)
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