London Artist Turns Everyday Materials into Beautiful but Creepy Works

Susie MacMurray turns everyday banal items like hairnets, balloons, wires and fish hooks into beautiful but creepy works of art.

Her famous bridal gown looks elegant and fit for a queen. But look again and one can see that it is made out of 1400 rubber gloves.

Entitled 'A Mixture of Frailties', is this a warning that after the wedding comes the drudgery of life? And the gloves are inside out, showing a pale, soft lining which makes them seem vulnerable, not strong...

Then there is the picture called Maiden. It consists of a row of golden delicate fish hooks, looped and strung together with one long piece of human hair.

That's the trick: on the surface they seem ordinary but beneath there is a something ambiguous and sinister.

This chandelier is made of hundreds of old wine glasses hanging down in a descending flow. There was also a beautiful sculptural piece for the wall made out of black rubber hose, looped over and around and looking like hair growing out of the wall.

Other works include another long gown, this one called Widow, consisting of thousands of silver dressmaker's needles: how is that for a double message. It is on display at the Power of Making show at the Victoria & Albert Museum in London.

In another piece, she filled the entire attic space of a mill with 80 kg of feather down and in yet another country house intervention she wrapped 105 miles of gold embroidery thread throughout a historic house. Another work consisted of 10,000 hairnets containing strands of used violin bow-hair.

Susie MacMurray was trained as a classical musician and has since become a feminist artist. While she may not consider herself to be strictly an environmental artist, her use of vintage and recycled materials has a resonance. She is concerned with the nature of memory and the remnants of life. Working with old bits of hair, and feathers and rubber gloves, she gives new life and meaning to old things.

More on Environmental Art
Craft and Science are Combined in One New Exhibition
Second Lives: A Mixture of Frailties by Susie MacMurray

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