Susan's Pics

Susan Davis, Bridgeman Studio Executive and visual arts lover selects her top picks from the archive.


1. What is your role at Bridgeman?
As Bridgeman Studio Executive my role involves managing the studio artists we represent in the Bridgeman archive. I work closely with our current studio artists as well as actively seeking new and emerging talent. I liaise with our marketing and sales departments on new and upcoming campaigns and licensing projects. In addition, I promote our artists’ work by managing our social media channels and creating bespoke lightboxes for international clients.

2. What do you love most about the job?


Discovering new artists has been one of my favourite aspects of the job. I regularly attend exhibitions, art fairs and other art events throughout the year to discover new contemporary artists to join the archive. I particularly enjoy studio visits. This is a wonderful way to meet artists in their working environment and allows for a greater insight into their creative process. I also enjoy how projects develop and how artists’ work has been shown across publishing, film, advertising and many other areas.

3. What misconceptions do clients most commonly have about the archive? 
People aren't always aware of the breadth and diversity of the archive. The Bridgeman archive holds everything from contemporary studio artists’ work to footage from the 1800’s. Bridgeman Images represents thousands of incredible image suppliers including artists, galleries, museums, auction houses, estates and private collections.





Susan's favourite images and clips in the archive are...





Holly Frean, Homage to David Hockney No.4, 2008

I enjoy studio artist Holly Frean's witty observational humour and how she renders both a likeness and a unique character of her artistic heroes - as in this case, her homage to David Hockney. Frean also creates wonderful animal inspired drawings and paintings that are fun, playful and always light-hearted.  


Tom Hammick, Cloud Island, 2017 (woodcut)

Tom Hammick’s series of dream-like landscapes are some of my favourite works in the archive. Darkness abounds in many of Tom Hammick’s prints as the artist often paints late into the night, finding this time an imaginative space for creativity. The title of this woodcut print ‘Cloud Island’ is ambiguous. As is the case with many of his works there is an element of mystery and intrigue. I especially like Hammick’s unique interpretation of isolated human dwellings depicted here on a floating island surrounded by vegetation set against an atmospheric midnight blue sky.





Salvador Dali, Woman at the Window, 1925 (oil on panel)
Usually when you think of the work of Salvador Dali, you think of melting clocks and surreal juxtapositions. However, unlike a lot of the artist’s work, this figurative approach reflects a classic realism. I remember viewing this work at the Reina Sofía in Madrid and not realising, at first glance, that it was painted by Dali. This is one of my favourite works as it is an example of Dali’s formative years in the 1920s when he experimented with different styles and several movements from that period before identifying himself with surrealism. You can really appreciate the technical skill in this painting from the diffused light and the fine brushwork in the delicate drapery to the detailed reflection of the Cadaqués landscape in the window. Perhaps there is a lot of emotion invested in this painting, but I find it to be very serene.
Sigmar Polke, Quetta 74, 1978 (oil tint on black and white photograph)

I first discovered the work of multi-media artist Sigmar Polke at a retrospective exhibition in Musée de Grenoble. Ever since, I have been interested in the artist and his work.  In the 1970s, Polke explored the relationship between photography and painting and developed his interest in challenging the objectivity of the photographic image. In 1974 he travelled to Pakistan, using his photographs from this trip as the basis for a number of manipulated photographic and painted works. 





Harry Clarke, Etain, Helen, Maeve and Fand, Golden Deirdre's Tender Hand'. 'Queens', nine glass panels acided, stained and painted, Illustrating J.M. Synge's poem, 1917 (paint on glass)

This image really captures the luminous and jewel-like quality of Harry Clarke's work. From a very young age I have admired Clarke's large stained-glass windows and his imaginative illustrations of fairy tales notably those for classic tales of Hans Christian Andersen. It was fantastic to discover that the archive holds many images of Clarke's work which highlight his signature style of elongated figures, deep rich colours and intricate detail. 
Thomas Edison, Crissie Sheridan dancing, 1897

There are so many wonderful clips in the footage archive but this early film by Thomas Edison caught my immediate attention. From one camera position, a serpentine dance is performed by a woman shown in a voluminous white dress. The performer, known as Crissie Sheridan, fills the frame as she spins and twirls with great finesse and energy. It is fascinating to view this clip as it is an early example of motion picture showcasing the very beginning of film. 





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