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Susan Mowatt

Susan Mowatt has been awarded creative and professional development funding by the Scottish Arts Council

In her own words Susan explains her work with tapestry...


"I graduated from Edinburgh College of Art in 1989 with a degree in Drawing and Painting followed in 1992 with an MFA in Tapestry.

bijoux detail, by Susan Mowatt; Photo: Shannon Tofts

I was lucky to get a WASPS studio quickly and I then worked for many years from the Patriothall building in Stockbridge. Five years ago I moved out of Edinburgh and now have a studio at West Barns. A small group of local artists secured the lease of a disused Victorian Primary School from East Lothian Council .

We received funding and fitted the building with electricity and partition walls. West Barns Arts now provides impressive studio accomodation and has a great exhibition space. We are continuing to make improvements to the building. It's quite exciting!

black blob, by Susan Mowatt; Photo: Shannon Tofts

I have always been fascinated by what tapestry as a medium has to offer and over the years have never tired of it. I particularly enjoy the process of weaving itself and can become absorbed by individual yarns. The interplay between surface, line and colour is what interests me.

Grey below, by Susan Mowatt; Photo: Shannon Tofts

Pink bottom, by Susan Mowatt; Photo: Shannon Tofts

It was common for me to work on a very big scale when I was younger (3m x 3m), but now family and work commitments do not allow that to happen very often (I teach at Edinburgh College of Art). I¹ve had to adapt how I work and more often concentrate on smaller scale pieces.

detail spill, by Susan Mowatt; Photo: Shannon Tofts

The Scottish Arts Council has supported projects in the past which would otherwise have been impossible for me to participate in eg. an invitation to represent Great Britain at the 11th International Tapestry Bienniale which took place in Lodz, Poland in 2001.

Last year I was awarded a period of time to work on a new body of work which culminated in a two person show, 'Kabloom', at Gallery Maronie in Kyoto. Some of the work I made was also exhibited earlier this year in The Fine Art of Tapestry Weaving¹ at the SoA Gallery,in Canberra, Australia. 

I was one of seven international artists to be invited to take part in the show which formed the centrepiece to Tapestry 2008, the first international tapestry symposium to take place since Melbourne 1988. It was a hugely successful event with a diversity of speakers delivering a wide range of talks over the four days.  For me it was an extremely rewarding experience.

Grey blob, by Susan Mowatt; Photo: Shannon Tofts

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