Susie Leiper’s new exhibition The Living Mountain opens on 4 April 2015 and runs till the 22nd. We met up with the artist ahead of the opening to talk about the inspiration behind it.
In her slim masterpiece The Living Mountain Nan Shepherd invites us to look inside the mountain: into the hollows, the chasms, the burns, the lochs. This resonates with Susie Leiper and informs her work, with diaphanous layers and geographical strata drawing us further in. Susie views the process of embarking on a painting as similar to tackling the ascent of a mountain; both are blank canvases on which to trace marks, all of which then become ‘aspects of one entity, the living mountain’.
In Susie’s paintings there is a sense of soothing serenity, parallel to the escapism afforded by the mountains. Susie’s love of Scotland’s Munros, as well as the French Pyrenees and the sacred peaks of China, reverberates through her work.
Susie Leiper is a calligrapher and painter in Edinburgh. She writes and paints on everything from walls and wood to canvases and tiny books, often but not always combining text and painting. This exhibition acts as a tribute to Nan Shepherd and the mountains of Scotland. Most of the painting titles refer to Scotland’s Munros, in translation from the Gaelic.