21st April 1944 – 20th August 2008
Susannah Bradley trained as an illustrator at Camberwell School of Arts and Crafts, which has consistently been one of the top art schools in the country for many decades. After graduation, while continuing to work as an illustrator, she became an art teacher for a while, but eventually found her dream career in publishing. Before going freelance after the birth of her children, she worked in various editorial roles at Hamlyn and IPC Magazines.
Although the switch from pictures to words brought a new emphasis to her career, Susannah continued to take on special artwork commissions and in the 1990s she began working on individual pieces which may be conventional pictures, or creations (sometimes three-dimensional) in wood, depicting a customers home, child, pet, ancestors or even the local pub with her patron sitting outside it!
Susannahs scale of painting has varied from full wall murals (but a mural doesnt have to take up the whole wall it can be a plant on a shelf or a swash-buckling pirate strutting across an otherwise blank wall said Susannah) to tiny brooches. In between there were mirrors, letter-racks and her locally-famous cat doorstops which have caused many a real-life moggy to draw back and hiss at the intruder.
Sadly, for all her family and many friends, she died in August 2008 after a short illness.
Click here for details of Susannah’s Walk
Susannah used the little black and white snapshots of the early part of the 20th century, with their owners memories of colour detail, and created paintings in watercolour, acrylics or oils which give back the vibrancy the snapshot failed to hold. Many people commissioned her to paint a colourful version of an old photograph of a wedding.
Susannahs brooches may have beeen tiny but they are instantly recognizable as her work. The Wivenhoe Mayors Ball brooches have become extremely collectable. Produced by Susannah as a signed and numbered limited edition with a different theme for each years prestigious fund-raising event, these brooches have reflected each mayors personal theme, which have so far included toads, dragons, British birds, and, most recently, primroses. As a devotee of the Gilbert and Sullivan operettas she has made show brooches for both Wivenhoe and Ipswich Gilbert and Sullivan Societies.
Garden plants, bowls or cricket players, local buildings, boats, family groups beautiful desk pieces with what her customers call good surprise qualities made Susannahs letter-racks ideal presents for personal or commemorative presentations. Each one was individually made after careful discussion with the customer.
Square-framed mirrors make stunning decorations. Susannah undertook commissions for people as a reminder of their hobbies, to mark the selling of a family home with a mirror showing the house and the favourite areas of the garden; a gift for the producer of a show as a thank-you with scenes and characters from the production around it.
A whole room, or a little bit of eye-catching detail here and there? Susannah was capable of producing a whole scene to transform a room.
For more mural pictures, click here
2005- Susannah paints the Wivenhoe Year for Wivenhoe Town Council – click here
2008 – Exhibition of Photographs – Books and Barley – click here