Text by Susanne Opheys Text by Dr. Sabine Schütz
Dr. Sabine Schütz, Art Historian
Susanne Opheys takes the viewer to a place rich in woven images made of colours, plants and substances. Because of her interest in the endless forms of botany, plant motifs are central to her art. Her image-world is also suffused with mythological elements. The artist surprises and convinces with a very personal imagery that depicts the life elements of nature.
At the beginning of the nineties, after her study of graphics in Krefeld, Opheys studied at the School of Art Llotja in Barcelona where Picasso had begun his career as an artist. Opheys still has a close connection to this very artistic city. She spends a part of every year there receiving a lot of inspiration.....
In light of Opheys love for botanical forms, it is no surprise that one of her works reminds us of the images of photographer Karl Blossfeldt. In 1935 he showed an amazing synthesis of forms of art and nature in his photographic book "Urformen der Kunst" (Art Forms in Nature). The marked sculptural, sometimes architectural character of flowers, calyxes, stalks or leaves is clearly seen. Details portrayed by Karl Blossfeldt in their whole floral beauty were chosen by Opheys to become new expressions in her paintings. Above all it was the bulbous form of the poppy capsule which inspired the artist to create several works. The ancient symbolism of this plant which tells of fertility, vitality, even ecstasy and dreams goes far back into Celtic mythology; it can be also sensed in the works of Susanne Opheys. The long stem proffers a moment of generation to its symbolic expression whose basic elements as a whole seem almost classical. Sometimes, as a result of her colour work, it shifts anew into autonomous, almost abstract forms.
Susanne Opheys has explored the mythology of the Old Egyptians, especially with the cult of the dead as seen in the trilogy "Boote" (Boats). When viewed hanging, it reminds us of the narrative mural paintings in Egyptian burial chambers. The simple
wooden boat symbolises the transport of the dead into Abydos, the Ancient Egyptian sacred town of the dead. In reality only very rich families could afford such
an expedition; therefore the motif has become one of the most represented. The boat also generally symbolises the spiritual transfer between life and death. The sand which gives the picture a rough and haptic surface comes out of the Rhine - as Opheys generally likes to use materials that belong to the environment in which the work is created. Since location plays an important role in her art, her travels constantly stimulate new ideas.
Susanne Opheys surprises with original imagery of nature’s manifold life elements. Follow her into the filigreed fragility of her collages, into her sculpturous and painted forms on an extraordinary journey into an unknown, meditative world conjoining art and nature.