Susie Leiper

SUSIE LEIPER is one of Britain’s leading calligraphers. She is known both for her traditional skills in writing with quills on vellum and for her innovative use of the Chinese brush as a writing tool. Susie’s formative years as a calligrapher were spent in Hong Kong, where she developed her passion for Chinese art and language.Susie also paints in oils, watercolours and ink, sometimes combining painting with calligraphy in the tradition of Chinese art. Calligraphy, painting, poetry: can these three arts coexist in the west as effortlessly as they do in China? Susie believes they can. In her mountain landscapes, both monumental and miniature, real and imaginary, Susie reveals and conceals calligraphic text in a way that is both contemporary and elucidating. Some of her works bear no text but are often inspired by poetry. Working in oils and water-based media, Susie paints comfortably on anything from vast walls and canvases to fine-grained wood and Chinese papers. Susie’s passion for all things Chinese grew out of a spell in Hong Kong and an editorial career in books on Chinese art and archaeology. A graduate of St Andrews and the Courtauld Institute of Art, she completed her formal training in calligraphy under artist Donald Jackson. She has won a number of awards including the Platinum National Handwriting Competition when a teenager and two recent prizes at the Visual Arts Scotland exhibitions in the Royal Scottish Academy. Recent exhibitions include her almost sell-out solo shows The One Life (2012) and The Word on Wood (2011) at the Open Eye Gallery Edinburgh, and participation in Celebrate Calligraphy (London, Sunderland, Halifax, 2011 - 12) and The Wych Elm Project (Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, 2009). Susie’s work belongs in several national collections including the British Museum, Edinburgh College of Art, Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge, Museum of Edinburgh, National Library of Scotland, National Museum of Scotland and the Royal Collection. Susie is a Fellow of the Society of Scribes and Illuminators and is based in Edinburgh.

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