Inspired by her personal experiences with nature, Sue Lovegrove’s paintings portray both the strength and fragility of the natural world. Painting is much more than a visual exercise for Sue, and she spends time absorbing the surrounding landscapes. She immerses herself in remote and isolated environments, allowing herself to be ‘changed’ by her experiences of places before painting. Her often large scale abstract paintings have, in the past, been influenced by the wild Tasmanian landscape, such as the chaotic patterning of grasses shaped by the wind, tidal movements of water, or the remnant passage of an animal travelling through undergrowth. Sue's recent work is entirely different and brings together the tradition of 11th century Persian manuscript illumination with documentary style portraits of trees. She has chosen trees that hold significant importance to her -“mostly old, dead, disregarded trees that in my mind have significant cultural hold and environmental heritage…I have documented the Pencil Pines, the old gnarled River Red Gums in the Flinders Ranges (SA) and the old trees from my own property in Tasmania (that survived the 1967 fires)...All of the trees would have existed in pre-Colonial times and bare witness to our human presence and the changing environmental and cultural landscape of Australia.”
Born in Adelaide, Sue Lovegrove completed a Bachelor of Visual Arts in 1990 and a PhD in 2002 from the School of Art at the Australian National University. She spent several years lecturing in visual arts at the Australian National University and the University of Wollongong. In 2003, Sue was awarded the Australian Antarctic Division Arts Fellowship, followed by an Arts Tasmania Natural and Cultural Heritage Grant in 2006. In 2015, Sue spent time in London studying the ancient tradition of Persian manuscript painting. Her work is represented in collections across Australia including the National Gallery of Australia, National Gallery of Victoria, Parliament House, Artbank and Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery.