Sue Lovegrove’s work explores her relationship to place, in particular the landscape of Tasmania, through close observation and sensory perceptions of the natural environment. Her paintings are subtle and emotionally evocative abstract representations of shimmering light, air, space and the invisible phenomena of wind and weather. She uses fine delicate lines to create rhythms and patterns of movement across the surface with layers of subtle washes creating an exquisite depth to the paintings. Recently, she has begun research into Persian miniature painting and manuscript illumination, which has brought about a change in direction although the underlying concerns of how we perceive the landscape and our need to care for it remain continuous. In her recent series of work entitled “The Book of Trees”, she has combined this very traditional style of painting with portraits of Australian trees, choosing trees that hold significant importance to her -“mostly old, dead, disregarded trees that in my mind have significant cultural hold and environmental heritage…I have documented the Pencil Pines, the old gnarled River Red Gums in the Flinders Ranges (SA) and the old trees from my own property in Tasmania (that survived the 1967 fires)…All of the trees would have existed in pre-Colonial times and bear witness to our human presence and the changing environmental and cultural landscape of Australia.”
Born in Adelaide, Sue Lovegrove graduated from ANU School of Art with a Bachelor of Visual Arts in 1990 and a PhD in 2002. Her PhD research was on Aboriginal women’s painting from the desert with a focus on Indigenous perceptions of pictorial and cultural space in painting through experience of everyday life. Sue is currently a sessional Tutor in drawing at the University of Tasmania and has undertaken residencies in remote places including Antarctica, Macquarie Island, Maatsuyker Island and Tasman Island. She has had over 25 solo exhibitions around Australia and her work is represented in numerous private and public collections including the National Gallery of Australia, National Gallery of Victoria, Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery, Parliament House, Macquarie Bank, Canberra Museum and Gallery and the University of Canberra.