With constantly developing designs and new collections, I thought it would be timely to reflect on my first collection and my practice as a painter. I recently noticed that it was 4 years since my first cushion design was created and the seed for Susi Bellamy Home was planted.
I've never been much of a traditional painter, insofar as the more technical tasks relating to perspective, scale and composition were fascinating to study, but never truly excited me. Taking art classes in Florence during my time living there I would delight in anything more expressive. I felt like a bit of a rule breaker at times as I experimented with colour and collage and shunned the prescriptive landscapes and obligatory floral still lives as subject matter.
But it was my Masters degree in Fine Art at Northumbria University that truly challenged my conceptions of the artistic process and pushed me to think about painting in a more abstracted way.
Artists like Gerhard Richter inspired me with their heavy textural approach to painting. Rather than arming myself with a daint paintbrush, I would use a plasterers' trowel and scratch and scrape away at the canvas, revealing hidden layers like I was unearthing the hidden history of the surface.
This mark making is intuitive and quite visceral. It is process-driven and forces you to unlearn the established conventions of painting. You abandon your movements to a force of abstraction and simply immerse yourself in colour and texture.
The resulting paintings are abstract compositions in vibrant tones. I then hone in on a specific area of interest within the painting - a section whose colours, composition and textural constitution are particularly intriguing.
This impulse to edit and to curate my paintings before translating them into homeware pieces means the collections are considered and gives them more versatility to be slotted into a variety of interiors settings.
Osmosi Giallo Cushion with matching original artwork.
I originally created the cushion collection because I wanted to make this sort of abstract art more accessible. Hanging on the wall of an empty gallery, it may look imperious and impressive, but how could we bring that sort of impactful imagery into an interior setting?
"Art for the sofa" was born. I believe that interiors do not have to feel traditional and safe. They can be as design-led and artistic as any other decorative piece.