Interview with NZ Art Guild member
by Sharlene Schmidt
Suzanne Carter is a self-taught mixed media artist who creates vibrant fresh work, frequently touching on issues of justice and expressing compassion and concern. She loves to express her faith in Jesus Christ through her work. She often incorporates text into the body of her work, which generally reflects iconic NZ imagery.
Born in Leeds in the UK Suzanne immigrated to New Zealand with her parents in 1971. She now lives on the Kapiti Coast with her husband of 24 years (Richard) and their 6 children, who she says are “an amazing source of inspiration, teaching me what is real and of value in life.” She currently balances her artwork with her family, home schooling and helping to run a construction company.
Suzanne unique art is usually comprised of many layers of paint, fabric and text and cannot be replicated. They have many layers of meaning juxtaposed within its framework. She has exhibited and sold around New Zealand and Internationally
Suzanne says “I want my work to inspire, provoke and compel people to contemplate not only the existence of a transcendent God but the beauty of His creation and his love for us individually. I love people, especially the underdog and the disenfranchised and those who have been cast off by society and I am beginning to explore areas of biblical justice in text and paint as a way to express compassion and concern.”
Tell us about your involvement with Artists for Hope
“Artists for Hope is a charity that uses the sale of donated artwork to support a ministry in Haiti, called the Real Hope For Haiti Rescue Center and Clinic. They make a huge difference in the lives of children who are impoverished and malnourished.
For me, the desire to use my art to help the lives of children was sown a couple of years ago when I donated artwork to an exhibition run by fellow Art Guild member Robyn Robertson to raise funds for an orphanage in Romania. Until I found Artists for Hope I wasn’t sure of how to continue this.
Although we sponsor a child in the Philippines we just don’t have the financial means to be able to donate more money I was inspired by the idea that I could use the works of my hands and heart to fund this cause.”
What is one of the hardest things about being an Artist?
“The hardest part for me is finding the time to create something, so I often have to expend a lot of energy at odd times and in strange places to get there. Like many artists I went through a stage where I felt I wasn’t creating anything that was “good enough” and I wanted to quit. Then I read a story in the bible that talks about “talents” and I realised that I needed to be grateful for what I have been given. That I needed to have faith to continue and stop comparing myself to others who I felt have more talent or ability. Once you focus on what you have instead of what you haven’t you can make a difference.”
What is the easiest part of being an artist?
“I haven’t found an easy part yet, but I have found a real joy in the creative process and I feel like it is something I am compelled to do.”
What are your goals as an artist?
“My short term goals include learning and continuing to grow as an artist. I would like to branch out into oil painting when I have a bit more time. Longer term as time and money are available I would also like to undertake formal tertiary training in my areas of interest.”
Suzanne on being a member of the NZ Art Guild
“I have been a member of the NZ Art Guild for the last few years and I love it. It helps me to feel connected to something bigger than myself and stops me from feeling so isolated. I feel inspired by the other artists and their journeys. The support is great and I have really appreciated being able to submit work to exhibitions which has helped me to step out of my comfort zone and increased my confidence.”
What is something that not many people know about you?
“I love toasting marshmallows with my kids around a fire and galloping full tilt up the beach on a horse with the wind in my hair. I like the sound of rain on the roof and chick flicks that make you cry like a baby. I loved being pregnant but after baby #6 I decided I had better start liking something else”
For more information about Suzanne and to view her art online go to http://suzannecarter.mosaicglobe.com/
Or Fine art America, where prints of Suzanne’s work can be purchased at http://suzanne-carter.artistwebsites.com/
To contact Suzanne firstname.lastname@example.org
For more information about Artists for Hope go to