"What does it mean that the world is so beautiful?
And what shall I do about it?"
Mary Oliver (2004)
I paint to honour and express my deep connection to nature.
In 2015, I left my home in the Netherlands for a small farm on the edge of a forest in northern Scotland. Here, I learned to look after the land and developed an intimate relationship with it. I spent time with the same tree in the woods almost every day for two years. Through this ritual, I slowly discovered the secret languages of the natural world around me. My inner landscape responded and the change I felt was profound.
I believe that in many ways the current crises in society are rooted in our disconnection from the natural world. Our souls are no longer nourished by the smells of the damp forest, or by the feel of the wind on our bare skin.
When nature slips from our hearts and minds, we become impoverished, uprooted, isolated from a deep and ancestral part of ourselves. We often don’t realise how much we long for this connection, until we find it again.
In the forest, I found something I didn’t know I was missing. I remembered things I didn’t know I had forgotten.
Through my work, I want to reveal the magic and richness of the world I see all around us. I want to invite people to realise that so much of the fulfillment we are seeking is right here - in the morning fog lingering in the fields, in the crackle of thunder or in the haunting call of the Tawny Owl.
And I want us to become enchanted once more.
Suzanne Birch is a self-taught painter based in Forres, Scotland. Her work explores the elements of nature in both figurative and abstract visual language.
Originally Dutch, Suzanne followed her love for wild spaces to the North of Scotland in 2015. Here, through working and living with the land as an organic grower, Suzanne developed an intimate connection to the natural world. As a keen observer of bird-life, of wildlife tracks in the mud, and of the light filtering through the canopy, Suzanne’s creative practice is as much outdoors as it is in the studio.
For Suzanne, painting feels to be a meditation, a dialogue with the unseen. Sometimes her paintings start outdoors, with notes and sketches in various materials which are later gathered in the studio. At other times, the experiences and elements of the land will unconsciously seep into her abstract works. Suzanne’s work stems from observation, memory, imagination and emotion.
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