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My work is deliberately varied and experimental – I see it as a journey of exploration and a quiet resistance against pressures to specialise.
The passing of time and the textures of decay are recurring themes. I’m interested in the weather-beaten, the worn-in, the aged, the mended and repaired, the layers of history. Abstract pieces are process-driven, with paint and collaged elements repeatedly applied and pared back to create depth and add the fourth dimension of time. Some works have a fragile, heirloom-like quality, reminiscent of a patchwork quilt or well-worn vintage garment – reflecting a lifelong interest in textiles, knitting and sewing. Others challenge aesthetic convention, finding beauty in difficult, grimy textures. The intention is to create something honest, handmade, tactile and open about its own imperfections.
Abstract works include a series of 3x3 multi-panel paintings, drawing on my Instagram profile picture as the source image and playing with the grid format of Instagram’s profile pages. The paintings fragment and merge to create new, abstract configurations in an ever-evolving body of work. Meanwhile, my figurative paintings take these themes in a more narrative direction. Everyday scenes are imbued with a sense of foreboding or an elemental quality. Tension is created by placing simplified, human-made structures in a natural environment, or by including a barrier between the viewer and the subject of the painting. I also make daily drawing an integral part of my practice. An ongoing sketchbook project takes album covers from the 1960s onwards and reinterprets them as small, A6-sized pencil sketches, with the music providing a soundtrack to the drawing.


Originally from Liverpool, Sue Asbury now works from her home studio in Bollington on the edge of the Peak District. Solo shows at Spring Cheltenham (2022) and The Old School Gallery, Alnmouth (2021). Works have been shortlisted for the RWA Open 2023 and 2021, ING Discerning Eye 2022, New Light Prize Exhibition 2020-2021 and Manchester Open 2020.

Sue studied graphic design at Stockport College and built a 15-year career in graphic design in London, winning awards for her exhibition and print design work. Alongside writer Nick Asbury, she is one half of creative partnership Asbury & Asbury

Since moving back north, Sue has made the transition into fine art, while retaining a design sensibility that is evident in her graphic compositions and subjects condensed to simplified forms. 

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