Foundation in Art & design 1969-1971
Diploma in Graphic Design 1971-1973
West Surrey College of Art & Design
BSc. (Hons) Psychology First Class 1983-1986
University of Manchester
BA (Hons) Fine Art 2:1 2000-2003
University College Falmouth.
Sue’s career spans over five decades, from an early training in Graphic Design, a Degree in Fine Art, and a BSc in Psychology. Her work encompasses Painting, Drawing, Print Making and Photography. Sue has exhibited widely, initially as a student, at the Photographers Gallery in London in 1972. Since then Sues paintings and Prints have been shown as far afield as New Yorks’ Galerie Pelar and Londons’ Hudson Gallery. Sue settled in Cornwall and has exhibited widely including at the Belgrave Gallery, Leach Pottery, Porthmeor Print makers, and Penwith Gallery in St Ives. Also The Glass House Gallery and Rainy Day Gallery in Penzance and of course in her own gallery, the Cornerstone Galley, in St Ives.
Photography has always been part of Sues life having had a camera from an early. Her father was a keen amateur photographer who photographed his extensive travels in the 50s, 60s and 70s. Sue’s brother Rod Varley is a professional photographer. Not surprisingly Sue has always integrated photography into her artistic journey.
Two years ago Sue’s creative work moved away from her painting and towards the world of alternative photography, primarily Cyanotypes.
“I find the process of making cyanotypes both challenging, immensely satisfying and occasionally frustrating. Starting with a photograph I modify it on a computer to produce a negative that will block ultra-violet light. This is then contact printed onto art paper that has been coated with a light sensitive solution that I mixed earlier. This is then exposed in an ultra-violet light box. Traditionally sunlight was used for this last process but as anyone who lives in Cornwall can tell you, the sun cannot be relied on when you need it and varies extensively in its intensity and duration. The UV light box means that the process can be used all year round. The exposed print is then developed and fixed using traditional methods. At any stage something can go awry so it is a demanding process. However the results can more than make up for frustrations encountered and the melding of ancient and modern skills is very fulfilling”.
Sue is keen to pass on her enthusiasm and knowledge and runs workshops for those interested in the cyanotype process.