Wherever Sula is living and working, close observation of her environment is integral to her work. She works in series with a theme developing in response to elements of her surroundings.
This page shows examples from different series. Click on images to enlarge.
For more examples click on this link to flickr
Interior with Figure is a series of works on paper made in an ancient farmhouse in the Dordogne, France during 1992. Initially the aim was to paint the landscape there. However the early spring was cold and wet. Sula became fascinated by the interior of the house. She often looked into the grainy mirror hanging above the stove in her studio. Through this mirror she saw a mysterious space beyond her where figures or parts of figures might appear and inhabit the space.
Landscape is a subject Sula revisits regularly. She has made painting trips of up to 6 months to work in the Spanish Pyrennees, France, Greece, Turkey and Ireland. To see more examples, click on this link to flickr
Click on images to enlarge. For more examples, click on this link to flickr and the Landscape set.
These interiors were made in response to the Westerkerk , Amsterdam, where Sula spent 2 months as Artist in Residence. To see more examples, click on flickr and the Westerkerk set
Sula lived in Poland for a year (1994 – 95), long enough to absorb and work with the stimulating atmosphere there at that time. The drawings and paintings she made in her Gdansk studio give an insight to her response in that city, its people and their culture.
To view more images click on this link to flickr and look at the Gdansk set.
Coming to live for the first time in deep rural Suffolk, after the cities of Europe, Sula found herself experiencing her surroundings as a traveller might. The work she made (1996 – 1999) was in reponse to cottages with small windows, butterflies arranged on their walls, patterned furniture, the layout of book and newspaper pages, the light filtering through Venetian blinds in American black and white films, Thom Gunn’s phrase, “Love is an arranging”.
To view more images click on this link to flickr and look at the set “Between the Light”
In 1999 Sula Rubens moved to the East Coast. This coast, with its tides, erosions, reed marshes, ships and the everchanging light had a strong influence on her work.
Wherever she is, close observation of her environment is integral to her work along with reference to objects such as photographs, postage stamps, discarded scraps of wallpaper or textured floor lino as well as drawings.
Sometimes these everyday objects are directly incorporated in a work as collage. Other times she refers to them to represent elements of the Suffolk coastline where she has lived and worked since 1999.