Susan Mattson is perhaps the most considerate person I have met. She deeply considers the ways in which various pieces of the world, herself included, influence and impact each other. Through her sculptures, Susan works out unresolved issues; both interior and exterior. While sculpting and carving, she allows her mind wander freely, reminiscing and following the flow of memories, regrets, projections, relationships.
Originally from Bozeman, Montana, Susan has traveled the world, taking a solo bike tour across the country at the age of 25. Every experience she has had, every place she has been, is still very alive within her. The past is carved into her psyche in a powerful way. She is a vessel of lessons.
Susan carries out her intentions through action. She remodeled a house in Butte to rescue it from demolition. She uses the pulp from her fresh juices to bake scones, because, even pulp can be useful. She works in mental health. Every decision Susan makes is preceded by the question, “what would happen if every person on the planet did this?”
She is a steady and humble activist; her art is a demonstration of her deeply held beliefs. But, she also has a goofy side. Let’s just say she’s spent a decent amount of time on testing the limits of the face-swapping app.
Driven by curiosity, Susan researches her subjects exhaustively which translates into unparalleled originality in her pieces. For example, her current piece, Nacho Scapegoat, led her on a quest to discover how goats have taken on the burdens of humans throughout history in many, many ways. Susan never just randomly selects a subject, they all have a story behind them, they are thickly layered with meaning.
Susan is pretty much the MacGyver of art galleries. She’ll improve mopping methods, solve temperature and lighting issues with nothing but a bed sheet and a clothespin and conquer mounting dilemmas in the craftiest of ways.
Something to keep in mind when experiencing Susan’s work: every face is made separately with tiny ceramic and dental tools, then pressed onto the body of the sculpture. This requires massive focus, determination, and patience; every sculpture takes many, many hours.
So, come. Plant yourself in front of one of Susan’s sculptures. Let it speak to you. Let it lead you down new path, or remind you of another time. Open up, lean in, listen.