Susan Collis

Susan Collis uses a variety of techniques and strategies to investigate issues concerning interpretation, craft, value and labour. Everyday objects are presented etched, splattered and stained with marks of work, wear and tear. At first glance, the marks seem to be the accidental results of normal use, and as such seem meaningless and not worthy of examination. Collis is interested in the shift of perception that takes place upon discovery that they are, in fact, careful, intentional acts, and that the materials used are traditionally valued for their financial or decorative properties. A tired stepladder covered with paint drips from years of use has been simulated by the meticulous inlaying of diamonds, pearls, opals and other prized materials. A bucket catching a drip from the gallery ceiling may not be the result of neglect, rather a complex staging of pumps, water-tanks and false walls to artificially create the scenario. Typically works involve momentous amounts of often hidden labour to create an object that may easily go unnoticed, but is replete with value, be it material or conceptual. Much of Collis’ work can go un-noticed and this visual gamble results in a possible conceptual pay-off that rewards concerted investigation by the viewer.

Recent solo exhibitions include When we loved you best of all at Touchstones, Rochdale; The Price of Nails at Meessen de Clercq, Brussels; Since I fell for you, Ikon, Birmingham; Twice Removed, Espacio Minimo, Madrid.

Group exhibitions include Lifelike at Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, touring to New Orleans Museum of Art, Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego and Blanton Museum of Art, Austin, Texas; The Workers at MASS MoCADe-building at Christchurch Art Gallery, New Zealand; La Vie Mode d’Emploi (Life a User’s Manual) at Messeen De Clerq, Brussels; MYSTICS or RATIONALISTS? at Ingleby Gallery, Edinburgh; False documents and other illusions, Portland Museum of Art, Maine; Bizarre Perfection, The Israel Museum, Jerusalem; Apparently Invisible, The Drawing Center, NY; At Your Service, The David Roberts Foundation, London and Out of the Ordinary, The V&A Museum, London.

Collis was selected as the Commissioned Artist for The Armory Fair 2010 and published three charity editions to benefit MOMA, NY.



Susan Collis CV


Seventeen Exhibitions

All this falling
That way and This
I Miss You
Don’t Get Your Hopes Up
Until it makes sense



The Guardian



PDF Catalogue



Since I fell for you, IKON, Birmingham
Without you the world goes on, Des Moines Art Center, Des Moines

It’s lighter than you think, 2023
Coloured pencil, graphite, ink on paper, on board
65.5 x 91.5 x 4.5 cm

The centre cannot hold (Brought to light), 2018
Ink and pencil on paper, hallmarked platinum
96 x 46 x 10 cm

Installation view at  ‘Carlo Crivelli, Shadows on the Sky’, Ikon Birmingham, UK. Curated by Jontahan Watkins.

Installation view at  ‘Carlo Crivelli, Shadows on the Sky’, Ikon Birmingham, UK. Curated by Jontahan Watkins.

Susan Collis, By the way, 2017
Vinyl on wooden chair
80 x 39 x 44 cm

Susan Collis, By the way, 2017
Vinyl on wooden chair
80 x 39 x 44 cm

Susan Collis, What’s yours is mine, 2012
Section of 12mm plasterboard from gallery wall (London, W1)
inserted into gallery wall (London, E2)

Susan Collis, What’s yours is mine, 2012
Section of 12mm MDF from gallery wall (London, E2)
inserted into gallery wall (London, W1)

Susan Collis, Better Days II, 2010
Dustsheet, embroidery thread
290 x 121 cm
Installation view at Out of the Ordinary, V&A Museum

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Susan Collis, Gas Boys, 2012
Left to right: Cedar, mother of pearl, sterling silver, oxidized silver. Sonokeling rosewood, rosewood, white holly veneer, ebony veneer, mother of pearl. Walnut, crushed lapis lazuli in a liquid medium, oxidized silver. Beech wood, beech, pear and white holly veneer, silver, smoky quartz, black diamonds, amber, hand knitted Japanese silk. Sonokelling rosewood, white holly & padouk veneers, silver, bronze, platinum. Beechwood, beech and white holly veneer, crushed lapis lazuli, silver, bronze. Cigar box cedar, white gold, smoky topaz.

Detail of Susan Collis, Gas Boys, 2012

Susan Collis, Bespoke, 2012
Lambs-wool and Alpaca hand woven herringbone Tweed,
custom Formica laminate on pine, custom Formica laminate on
chipboard, hand screen printed wool twill, screen printed
envelopes, hand rolled glazed earthenware tiles, vinyl banners,
hand printed C-print.
337 x 225 x 140 cm

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Susan Collis, This too shall pass, 2010
Iroko, cedar of Lebanon, red cedar, Honduras mahogany, white holly, pear wood, Indian ebony, African ebony, walnut sapwood and birds-eye maple veneers, Oxidised silver, bronze, silver, 9 carat white gold, 18 carat white gold(hallmarked), 9 carat yellow gold, 18 carat yellow gold, platinum, white diamond, black diamond, brown diamond, citrine, amethyst, white topaz, red carnelian, turquoise, brown goldstone, garnet, tourmaline, sapphire, white sapphire, ruby, emerald, iolite, peridot, smoky quartz, mother of pearl, lapis lazuli, jet, white howlite, coral, hand- knitted silk.
Unique installation
500 x 300 x 15 cm
Installation view at IKON, Birmingham

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Susan Collis, Installation view at IKON, Birmingham, 2010

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Susan Collis, Malaprop, 2012
MDF, seashells
295 x 127 x 14 cm

Detail of Susan Collis, Malaprop, 2012, Detail
MDF, seashells
295 x 127 x 14 cm

Susan Collis, The oyster’s our world, 2004
Wooden stepladder, mother of pearl, shell, coral, fresh water pearl, cultured pearls, white opal, diamond
81.3 x 38 x 58 cm

Susan Collis, You Again, 2011
Left to right: Sonekeling rosewood, mother of pearl, silver. Pau amarelo wood, teak veneer, mother of pearl, turquoise. Aluminium, platinum leaf. Japanese maple beech, white holly veneers, ground malachite in gloss medium. Sonokeling rosewood, rosewood, white holly veneer, ebony veneer, mother of pearl. Aluminium, 24-carat gold leaf. English oak, walnut veneer, sonokeling rosewood veneer, ebony veneer, bog oak veneer, silver.
Dimensions variable

Susan Collis, Jimmy, 2010
Coloured biro inks and graphite on paper construction
50 x 32.5 x 28cm

Detail of Susan Collis, Jimmy, 2010
Coloured biro inks and graphite on paper construction
50 x 32.5 x 28cm

Susan Collis, Inherent Vice, 2011
Linen, hand woven on jacquard loom, embroidery thread
Edition of 15
32 x 22 x 8 cm

Susan Collis The Devil you know, 2010
Archival pigment print and silkscreen on Somerset Satin paper
Edition of 20, signed in pencil verso
50 x 22 cm

Susan Collis Substance Misuse

Susan Collis, Substance Misuse V, 2008
Black biro ink on white paper
66 x 83 cm

Susan Collis, Depth Charge, 2013
0.9mm HB pencil leads, framed
33 x 33 cm

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Installation view of For all the things we thought we’d love forever, solo booth at Frieze, 2009

Susan Collis, Don’t make me wait, 2012
Beach, teak, plastic laminate, oak, maple, white holly
27 x 80 x 20 cm

Detail of Susan Collis, As good as it gets, 2008
18 carat white gold (hallmarked), white sapphire, turquoise, onyx
Edition of 10

Susan Collis, 100% Cotton, 2004
Overalls, embroidery threads
155 x 25 x 17 cm

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