top of page

ABOUT SUSAN CLEAVER

Falcon-Susan-Cleaver-Eglington-Valley-web.jpg

BIOGRAPHY

Susan Cleaver is a photo media artist based in the Whakatipu Basin, NZ. She spent her childhood on a farm near Queenstown, growing up with the nearby rivers, bush and the Southern Alps mountains as her playground.​

Susan fell in love with photography as a young girl and developed her creative skills over many years. When the digital camera was born, Susan was quick to adopt the new technology. Later after completing a diploma in Database and Website Design, Susan realized the natural symbiosis of photography and digital fine art as a pathway to fulfill her creative imagination.​

Since 2006 Susan has carefully crafted her own personal style of photo media fine art. Applying principles of composition and instinctive use of light and shadow, Susan uses rich artistic visual effects to convey a distinctive mood and unique narrative. She is passionate about the natural world and seeks to convey its inherent beauty by blurring the boundaries of the possible with the mystery of the impossible.

Susan Cleaver Hooker Valley Aoraki Mt Cook
Susan Cleaver Hooker Lake Aoraki Mt Cook 2023

 

ARTIST STATEMENT

Raised on a farm near Queenstown (New Zealand), I grew up surrounded by mountains, water and nature. I have always loved the camera and after some years working in the computer/IT world, I realized the natural symbiosis between photography, creativity, and the digital domain to create fine art.

I have been creating art from photography for over 10 years, recording the way I view natural NZ and how I want to interpret those scenes. Using Photo Artistry, my works are compiled with multiple images from my own large library of photos. Layered seamlessly, they create the final image and story.

I describe the genre of my art to a type of Photo Artistry or Photo Media Fine Art. For me it relates to the threshold (or space) of nature between beauty and mystery, between real and not-real. I harness my creative intuition to merge realistic environments with sometimes mysterious or unexpected elements, slowly building towards the story I want to convey. Then with the digital paintbrush using crisp color saturation and dramatic lighting, I finalize the atmosphere of the idea and bring the narrative to life. Sometimes I will continue the process by cutting out and collaging extra layers of particular elements, then using an overpainting technique, I will add several layers of colored acrylic glazes, creating an original fine art mixed media piece.

Currently I am exploring the issues surrounding Climate Change, with both my Climate Change Series and Still Life Series.  I juxtapose nature’s beauty and inherent wildness by layering different scenes together, asking the viewer to believe (or not) what the art is conveying and to create their own connection with it.

I hope you, the viewer can find inspiration and beauty through my art. Perhaps even, it may spark a fond memories of your own stories and experiences.

2023
Whakatipu Wildlife Trust Photo Competition
- Second Place - Peregrine Falcon Karearea

2022 / 2021
Queenstown Arts Centre - November Art Awards - Highly Commended Award - Life on the Edge

- Viewers Choice Award - Life on the Edge

2020
Queenstown Arts Centre - November Art Awards

- Viewers Choice Award - The Kea - Ruler of the Southern Alps

2019
Queenstown Arts Centre - November Art Awards

- Viewers Choice Award - Cecil Peak Mountains

Central Otago Gold Arts Awards - Finalist - Flight

2016 - 2018
Queenstown Arts Centre - November Art Awards

2017 - Best Contemporary Art - Balancing Act

Queenstown Arts Centre - November Art Awards

2016 - Highly Commended - Arrowtown Mozaic

2008
Estuary Arts Centre - Members Exhibition

First Prize   - Peacock Blue Mandala

EXHIBITIONS

2023

Wanaka Arts Awards Labour Weekend Exhibition

Whakatipu Wildlife Trust Photo Competition

ILT Art Awards Invercargill

Arrowtown Museum Art Awards

Queenstown Resorts mix of art for 6 units

2022 / 2021

Queenstown Resorts mix of art for 18 units Private commissions

Queenstown Arts Centre Art Awards

Various group exhibitions

Private Commissons

2020

Queenstown Arts Centre Art Awards and various group exhibitions

Queenstown Contemporary - Art Now

2019

Central Otago Gold Arts Awards

Queenstown Arts Centre Art Awards and various group exhibitions

2016 - 2018

Queenstown Arts Centre Art Awards and various group exhibitions

Christchurch Art Show

Kokomai Arts Festival Wairarapa

Ventana Creative Collective Opening Exhibition

The Nelson Art Expo Show

Pataka Museum and Toi Gallery Spring Combined Exhibition

The NZ ART Sale Wellington

GMRI Cancer Fundraising Charity Art Auction

Aspiring Art Awards Wanaka

Arrowtown Museum Autumn Art Awards

2008 - 2015

Queenstown Arts Centre Art Awards and various group exhibitions

ILT Art Awards Invercargill

Central Otago Awards Alexandra

The Nelson Art Expo Show

The Original Art Sale Auckland

The NZ ART Sale Wellington

Estuary Arts Centre Various Exhibitions

Aspiring Art Awards Wanaka

Arrowtown Museum Autumn Art Awards

bottom of page