Interview with artists Sue Williams and Steve Rooney
Why did you choose Sudley House for your exhibition?
Sue: As part of our project we brought our group here for a visit, which was the first of quite a few visits. Everybody was so inspired by the house itself. They felt the warmth of the house as a real living space, as if the actual family who lived here would suddenly appear. And they were so inspired by the artwork as well.
How did the room inspire this sculpture?
Steve: Well in each room there is a piece of sculpture, which is working within that space. In this room, the drawing room, this piece is relating to creativity. We've made this piece so it works with some of the blue and white porcelain that is in this room. It's a very loose metaphor, but it's the idea of the aesthetic that we're trying to capture here and we think that this is probably one of the most aesthetic pieces.
It's also about the mind - we were very, very interested in creativity and the mind. Every piece is about a faculty of the mind or the self and this piece is creativity; where is our creativity? Because that's what our project has really been all about.
How did you make this sculpture?
Steve: Basically this is card and if we could unfold it all you would see that there is a grid on the back of the card where it's scored. The paper falls into these facets as you fold it, it's very complex and quite amazing. And although we've said it's fragile it's quite strong as well, but that's how it's made: it's a flat piece of card and it falls into these facets as you fold it.
Would the Holt family like the sculptures?
Sue: Well I think Emma Holt, who was the last owner of this house, I think she'd be very thrilled with this type of thing. She comes across as being a forward looking person, a strong woman. She was very philanthropic working with the Rathbone family and I think she did a lot for health in the city of Liverpool and for women. And I just think she'd find this intriguing and I think she'd like it.
Steve: Yes, I would agree with that. And the other side is that the Holts were interested in education and I think people are going to come here and learn something about brain injury. Because at the end of the day, that's what has inspired all of this work - Sue and I have been working with people who have had a brain injury. And so I think the educative part of it would be of interest to them too. I think they'd like it too.