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Image above: Sue Ninham, Deep Down (detail), 2022, Polymer and oil on canvas, 120 x 120 x 4cm. Image courtesy the artist.  

A Dark Place – a celebration of isolation

Sue Ninham
17 March 2023 – 2 August 2023

PRIMARY_Sue Ninham_Online Exhibition Catalogue

Artist statement

In early January 2020 I undertook a two-month artist residency in a remote area in the north of Iceland. In winter, Iceland is a dark place. The sun shines dimly for approximately four hours a day. The fishing village I lived in is nestled in a stunningly beautiful bay and the studio I walked to every day, a converted fish processing factory which has views across the cold, dark ocean to the fjords beyond. During my time there it was common to experience extreme blizzards which brought howling winds and white-outs where visibility was impossible. They would disappear as suddenly as they arrived, revealing a snow covered, powdery, pristine landscape where any colour that existed popped and pulsed. It was the perfect place for me to live and work as I processed my personal grief. 

In mid- March, Covid chased me home earlier than planned. During my isolation in Adelaide I continued to work filling journals with strange abstract landscapes emerging from memories of the dark places I had visited. Iceland bubbles and fizzes to the surface in work made since. 

A Dark Place – a celebration of isolation is the culmination of the exploration I undertook in Iceland and a celebration of personal darkness I have learned to embrace.  

Sue Ninham, September 2022.