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Susie Leiper

Susie Leiper
  • Work
  • Biography

Susie's work as a calligrapher straddles the traditional and the exploratory, from quills and ink on vellum, to brushes and paint on Chinese paper, canvas and wood. Sometimes she combines lettering and painting, stimulated by poetry or prose that resonates with her. Sometimes she simply paints. Mountains lift her heart and inform my work, but she is also drawn to the more intimate environment of the book. In terms of scale, she is as happy painting on large canvases and walls as making smaller works and artist books, while carrying out regular commissioned calligraphic work.

Degrees from St Andrews and the Courtauld Institute of Art, and a spell in Hong Kong, led to an early career in book editing. Susie then completed her formal training as a calligrapher under Donald Jackson on the Saint John’s Bible. This resulted in a flourishing of artistic output, to large word canvases and walls and to abstract paintings based mainly on the theme of mountains. Susie is a long-standing member of a painting group led by Paul Keir and she is a member of bound : unbound, a group that makes artist books. She exhibits widely and has had several successful solo shows at the Open Eye Gallery in Edinburgh. The National Library of Scotland, Edinburgh College of Art, The British Museum, The Fitzwilliam Museum and the Royal Collection all hold her work. Susie is a fellow of the Society of Scribes and Illuminators and is the recipient of several awards, including the W Gordon Smith and Mrs Jay Gordon Smith Award at the Visual Arts Scotland open exhibition in 2018, and a Jerwood-funded collaborative residency at Cove Park in Argyll and Bute in 2016. Her calligraphy in the Scottish secretary hand features on the new Royal Bank of Scotland polymer banknotes.