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Leigh Suggs

I don’t often talk about the “relationships” that exist in my work – but it is a heavy undercurrent that is often present in my pieces. With every cut-out I make, there is always a heap of leftovers made. Those pieces are saved and are eventually turned into another piece – the sister. I think a lot about how my sister and I are “cut from the same cloth,” but are wildly different.

“Just the Three of Us” is more specifically about how most relationships usually involve an “other”; whether we are bringing baggage (the other) to a new romantic relationship, are an only child (the other) with two parents, or in a family unit who has suffered a miscarriage (the other is never known, but there). There are so many instances where the third exists. It is this overlap and interpersonal dynamic that is always at play, we are constantly existing with an “other.” But this “other” unites us and is what makes us who we are. Here, the two abstract figures are embracing their “other.” 

Just The Three Of Us, 2020
Hand-cut, acrylic on yupo
50.5 x 30 inches

Leigh Suggs channels her fascination with the mystery and psychology of sight through cut paper works and large-scale installations. She obscures normal perception, manipulating her materials as if optical illusions. By cutting and weaving intricate patterns, she animates an array of materials, including reflective silver mylar, painted Yupo (a thick, plastic-based paper), and ink. Although two dimensional in nature, she transforms the works on paper into sculpture-like forms through her manipulation of shadows, applied color, and reflections. The individual is left to decipher the piece’s existence as sculpture or flatwork, illusion or concrete, much as Suggs’ practice continually asks “What am I really seeing?”.

Suggs was born in 1981 in North Carolina and currently resides in Richmond, VA. She received her BFA from University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill in 2003 and MFA in Craft and Material Studies from Virgin­ia Commonwealth University in 2015. She has mounted exhibitions at Reynolds Gallery, Quirk Gallery, and Anderson Gallery, all, Richmond, VA; LIGHT Art + Design, Chapel Hill, NC; The Contemporary Art Museum, Raleigh, NC; Weatherspoon Museum in Greensboro, NC; Racine Art Museum, Racine, WI; and The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, WI. Her work is held in the collections of Markel Corporation and Federal Reserve Bank in Richmond, and Fidelity Investments in Boston.