have chosen to work in textiles because for me they provide a breadth and
flexibility of expression which make all other materials seem limited by
comparison. They combine the texture and relief qualities of sculpture or
pottery, the color range of paint, and the literal expressive potential of
photography. There is little I cannot say effectively with a textile of some
kind. Textiles also have a special personal resonance for me because they are
tied to important early life and family experiences: hand-knitted clothing,
embroidered linens, a family tradition of quiltmaking,
the feeling of cloth and thread in my hands. I find fabric work as natural as
breathing, and its expressions a "language" often more eloquent than
English itself. Speaking with the products of my own hands is the best way I
have found to communicate my thoughts, ideas, and experiences to others.
"All of my work is an attempt to describe with fabric my intense visual experiences of the Earth and its natural phenomena—everyday experiences elevated and intensified. In previous compositions I have used imagery derived from aerial photographs, cartography, microscopic photographs of animal and plant tissue, the “carpet” of debris on forest floors, ocean waves, and the pattern of light through the window shutters in my kitchen. I use color, layering, juxtaposition of patterns, exaggeration of detail, and complex textures to re-create the dichotomy I see in Nature: compositions which are bold enough to be visible from a distance, but which invite the viewer to come closer and discover a more intimate surface alive with visual energy."
Susan Brandeis holds a Master of Science degree in Art Education from Indiana University and a Master of Fine Arts in Textile Design from the University of Kansas. Since 1982 she has taught at the College of Design at North Carolina State University, where she coordinates the program in Fibers and Surface Design and the Anni Albers Scholars Program. Her work has been published in the books Celebrating the Stitch, The Surface Designer’s Art, and The Art Quilt, and in leading craft and textile art magazines. She has exhibited throughout the United States and in England, Ireland, Japan, the Netherlands, Colombia, and at the International Biennial of Tapestry in Lausanne, Switzerland. She is represented in numerous private and public collections, including the Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian. She has taught summer workshops at Penland School (North Carolina), Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts (Tennessee), Haystack Mountain School of Crafts (Maine) and the Split Rock Arts Program (Minnesota). She is a recipient of two visual artist fellowships from the North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources and a member of the Academy of Outstanding Teachers, North Carolina State University.