Powerful but soothing is contradictory, however in the case of Susan Haywood Smith's work, the images portray a quiet reflection on life, using the strength and beauty of New Zealand's flora and birds.
The very effective use, of a limited colour palette in her giclee prints, reinforces the quality of her work. Red and vibrant orange are used constantly, reflecting her passion for the South Pacific and its people. Being a Pakeha of Irish/English heritage, raised in South Auckland has greatly influenced her work. With no link to her own Irish/English heritage to make reference to, she absorbed the rich cultures of the Maori and Pacific Islanders around her. This was reinforced by her family ties to the Te Arawa Iwi.
Today, Susan is still reconciling the two worlds of her British lineage alongside her experience of Maoridom. She says she is yet to determine the point of intersection at which she is placed. However, her art allows her to work through this dichotomy from which she hopes to create powerful and stirring New Zealand artwork.
Susan completed a BA and BCom at Auckland University and her passion for printmaking was sparked in 1996 since then she has completed further studies in the medium. Her work is held in many International and NZ private collections.
Susan's giclee prints are original artworks specifically designed to be printed using the contemporary method of digital printing. In order to retain a raw quality, the artworks are firstly printed using traditional methods such as intaglio and relief. The designs are then layered with images of original, delicate drawings. Both open and limited editions are available.