“Memory isn’t always accurate,” says Susan Rosenberg, at the very start of our conversation about her new exhibition; and it’s an appropriate place to begin, given that her evocative work – which draws on her life – is about what we forget, as well as what we remember. “You might see a face in the crowd, and suddenly you are reminded of someone – but what you remember might be blurred, even if it feels very vivid.”
She has always been interested in how she might visually express those fragments of memory: whether in the ethereally anonymous human figures of her last exhibition, or her latest work, of plants and flowers. As with the figures, these are not flowers that can be named and pinned down, specified or identified. “They come from the recesses of the past,” she says, “from travelling, perhaps, when you glimpse a field from a train, or maybe the flowers that you see at wedding. They get tangled up with previous experiences – flowers at births, or marriages, or deaths – the colours in the threads of memory.”
Many viewers who have followed Susan Rosenberg’s work over three previous solo exhibitions at the Millinery Works will note a marked move towards abstraction in her new paintings – entitled “Then and Now”.