Safety Net


In 2011 a great opportunity had come my way; a retrospective for Pharmacopoeia with a linked solo exhibition in a lakeside Danish gallery. However, at the time I was in the hold of a depression and struggling to do the mundane let alone the creative.

I think best when I knit… the back & forth of carriage on rails soothes while counting rows in my head enables other parts of the brain to function. Stooped at my knitting machine thinking I must make something – anything – even if I throw it away, I saw a favourite postcard propped by the yarn feeder.

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Painted by artist Kim Cheselka, it’s a stitched square of thickish layered cardboard with a prominent row of safety pins. The franked reverse shows that it remarkably made it through the U.S. postal system from Los Angeles to London. Triggered by the card an idea hit me fully formed and the next day I happily started the first section of a large artwork.

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Over the next weeks this regular task helped me heal and got me going on other pieces. Safety Net formed the centerpiece for my Pockets of Memory room at KunstCentret Silkeborg Bad in Jutland.

Susie Freeman marks significant time in an autobiographical self-portrait of each of the fifty five years since her birth, ensuring that she has a Safety Net for each year she has lived; here each tiny daily pocket in the fifty five carefully calculated squares encases a tiny gold safety pin.

Dr Nicola Gordon Bowe

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Safety Net now exists as a limited edition, available either boxed or framed from The Rowley Gallery.

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Susie Freeman / The Rowley Gallery

Frames of reference
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2 Responses to Safety Net

  1. Wendy says:

    ‘Safety Net’ – great play on words and a lovely piece

  2. Safety pins. The device that once held us together. Great image, and the receding depth of the layers takes us right back to the time we were cared for.

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