‘Ignore the chicken’


For this exhibition, Sue Cathcart was inspired by circuses and fairgrounds and their slightly creepy atmosphere.  She felt her work really suits this as it is brash and very brightly coloured and indeed a lot of old theatrical and circus props were made from papier mache as it is easy to create an effect with it.

This is a Mr Papers piece (collaged paper on found board) and the Instruction ‘Ignore the Chicken’ is an instruction that Sue likes to call the Hutchinson initiative, named after Laura Hutchinson Education Officer at the Folk Museum. Visiting children are instructed not to look at the chickens while they are given a talk on the history of the farm buildings, the chickens always try and infiltrate any school party and are a huge distraction. Laura is like a hypnotist trying to enthral and beguile the audience while chickens cluck and walk about, she always manages it which is great credit to her.

Dimensions: approx. 60cm x 40cm.


Artist Bio

Sue has been working in mixed media for 30 years; she works primarily with paper, particularly papier mache and makes collages and 3D pieces. Sue is a self taught practitioner, and would call herself a Folk or Outsider Artist. Her work is very colourful and ebullient with diverse and found materials combining with the written word to create pieces that tell or are the story. She has taught creative studies for many years before training as a literacy teacher and working as a community tutor, she now works part time for a museum.

Some art requires the observer to have certain knowledge or to be able to discover meaning in the images or forms presented. The artist guides the observer with technique and colour or by conforming to a certain accepted genre. Sue’s art requires none of this, the materials are obvious to the eye, they are a mixture of found and paper and paint. Papier mache is the medium used and it is the most simplest of crafts, paper and the written word is used to tell a story. The object is the illustration of the story, the words are usually written on the piece or in the title, the story is told and there is no hidden meaning. The observer has only to observe and be engaged. This is Folk Art, colourful and brash with no pretentions, obvious technique, obvious materials and message, full of life!

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