Susan Adams: Onychophagia

The animation Onychophagia is from a series that emerged from my creative exchange with poet Lesley Saunders, part of a wider project supported by a Creative Wales Award from the Arts Council of Wales. Its frustrating when at times as an artist you feel you know yourself too well and you can predict the character of what you are about to make. Working with other artists in a way that you can talk to each other through your own particular language – be it words, music, image – can really help at such times, and come up with surprising and exciting results.

Lesley and I exchanged poems and images in response to each other’s offerings over a set time period; it was not only a matter of translating words into images and vice-versa, more a conversation… that created quite dark fictional spaces. Mostly these were home-spun stories, little murders, delicate dishes that gradually reveal themselves to be something less appetizing. I think Lesley was quite shocked to find herself in this gothic/domestic world while I learnt from the cool and almost detached pace with which she entered it. It couldn’t have been an irredeemably disturbing experience for Lesley as many of the poems from the collaboration were published in her collection Angels on Horseback, which won the The Poetry Business International Book and Pamphlet Competition 2016/17.




SUSAN ADAMS works in her studio in Wales crossing diverse media, including painting, sculpture, animation, printmaking and drawing. Her approach is imaginative and questioning, suggesting fragments of narratives that have grown from her love of literature, film and folk arts. She is interested in exploring the relationship between fantasy and reality and the locations in which these two worlds collide. She studied at the Slade and Norwich School of Art. She exhibits and lectures widely, also working as Artist in Residence in India, the USA and the UK including at ArtsAcre Calcutta, Millay Colony New York, WNO, Bardsey Island, Oriel Mostyn and Gloucester Cathedral.




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