Susan Marles is a self-taught fibre artist whose work is inspired by the landscape and culture of the different places where she has lived and travelled. She grew up with the freedom to explore the rocky west coast of southern Vancouver Island. This was a significant experience that instilled a life-long love of ocean scenery, beaches alive with marine life, and mountain backdrops. These natural-world themes still influence her fibre and textile artwork today.
Additional experiences from living in Kuwait and travels throughout the Levant and Near East added to a repertoire of ideas that continues to be reflected in her fibre artwork. Designs in her Levantine Travel series such as “The Oasis” and “Byzantium” were inspired from memories of those exotic journeys. Now that Susan lives on the Canadian prairies, she has discovered that those days of living in an ever-changing desert, with its ephemeral plant life and mysterious ancient landforms, contribute to the creative process in composing her prairie and mountain landscape textile art.
New themes in Susan’s work continue to develop as she explores different images inspired by her favourite books. Thus, a series, ‘Mythical Creatures’ draws from images mentally conjured up from fantasy novels. Hand-crafted work made from natural sources always interested her, so she has begun to use ‘found objects’ such as seashells and dried plant material to create 3-D texture in some of these fantasy motifs.