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RAE 2008

Rearch Assessment Exercise 2008

Susanna Edwards

As an artist, designer and arts educator Susanna Edwards is fascinated by shifts and developments in technology and how these affect the way she, and others produce work. Through her artistic practice and research, Edwards explores ways in which shifts in technology, particularly the introduction of computers to the mainstream in the 1980’s, have affected art and design practice. She is interested in the extent to which craft has been relegated to a hobby, what the relevance and necessity of craft is today, and how contemporary artists and designers incorporate craft in their work..In particular, how developments in technology have augmented shifts in the visual world, across disciplines.

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Research Outcomes

Outcome 1 - Codex
The aim of this research was to question how the introduction of the computer in the 1980's has affected the teaching of graphic design and the practice of design within the design industry. In some ways, this is an impossible question to answer, and many times we were faced with the rejoinder "revolutionised!". However, after some debate, a number of issues began to emerge of paramount importance.
In the Codex paper we describe the teaching of letterpress. Our aim was to examine this teaching model and its relationship to creativity and play. As a result, we were able to establish a basis for the examination of the medium of computers as a design tool.


Outcome 2 - Estuarial Lives
This was an exhibition of signage inspired by writer Iain Sinclair's documentary fiction Estuarial Lives.
I chose to respond to the text by selecting extracts and transforming them into ten pieces of signage. These signs reflect the landscapes encountered by film maker Chris Petit and Sinclair on their journey from Beckton Alp to Shoeburyness in the month of May 2004. I worked with materials and techniques such as neon, backlit perspex, sandblasting onto glass, etching onto metal, road signage, metal containers and chalk on blackboard.


Outcome 3 - Marinade XII
A limited edition artists publication, written by Iain Sinclair and designed by Susanna Edwards. An edition of 7 cloth bound portfolios containing original letterpress prints and hand produced photographic prints.
The texts derived from looking at newspapers, magazines, books - in a room with a sea facing balcony. Condition of being at sea, displaced rush of images and sounds. 12 texts, 12 snapshots from the balcony. The writing combines thoughts on the photos and looking out to sea. A wash of news. The texts are dense and complex and have layered influences.


Outcome 4 - Lost to View
Susanna Edwards, Katharina Koall and Martin McGrath present a form of visual navigation through Iain Sinclair's book, London: City of Disappearances (2006).
Using words and images that provide a secret reading of London, and bringing together different media including illustration, photography, letterpress, drawing and animation in a digital presentation, the artists have illustrated selected references from the book which are linked to people, places, buildings, objects, memories, quotes and actions.


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