Susan Jacobs works across drawing, sculpture, recorded action, installation as well as ephemeral site-responsive intervention. She utilises material and site – and particularly the latent potentials of both – as a means to express conceptual concerns in her complex, multi-layered art practice. Jacobs is not necessarily concerned with conclusions, and her work might be seen as a series of exercises in problem-solving and resourcefulness that inevitably develop their own sense of logic; the sum of her work adding up to a common line of inquiry rather than a signature aesthetic. Often employing readily available prosaic materials, she investigates broad ideas like time, history, physics, psychology and philosophy. A key feature of her practice is working with random gestures and mark-making to draw metaphoric associations from actions and interactions that are often out of her control, and her interest is in the act of enquiry rather than in pre-determined outcomes. Recently, Jacobs’ projects have involved reconstituting outmoded materials such as milk plastics and Hemacite (a material developed in the late nineteenth century and made from the blood of slaughtered animals and wood flour) to consider of the philosophical, economic and ethical implications around manufacturing.
SUSAN JACOBS completed a Bachelor of Visual Art at the University of Newcastle in 1997 and a Graduate Diploma of Visual Arts at the Victorian College of the Arts in 1999. She currently teaches at Monash University Faculty of Art and Design and at the Victorian College of the Arts, the University of Melbourne. She was a Gertrude studio resident from 2011–13, an Artspace Sydney resident in 2013, and a resident at the MacDowell Colony, New Hampshire in 2014. She has held numerous solo and group exhibitions over the past fifteen years and recently has presented major commissioned works at the Adelaide Biennial of Australia Art (2012), the Asia Pacific Triennial at QAG/GOMA (2012–13), and in Melbourne Now at the National Gallery of Victoria (201314). Her work is held in the Monash University Art Collection, the University of Queensland Art Collection, the VCA Art Collection, the MLC Art Collection, the Poster Collection of Museum fur Gestaltung, Zurich, Switzerland and numerous private collections.