Susan Greer Emmerson


“All art is here to prove, and to help one bear, the fact that all safety is an illusion”

-James Baldwin 

I make art about natural disasters: meditations on the loss of home and community and our changing climate. Experimenting with materials is central to my practice as I use Tyvek (a plastic paper) to create sculptural wall collages, drawings and paintings. 

My wall sculptures depict disheveled, broken surfaces where Tyvek painfully peels away like paint or skin, exposing a raw inner core. Everyday objects become precious; thier bits and pieces become icons of the lost reassurance of a safe and intact home. For other work I cut and mold Tyvek and create installations recalling rising seas or raging fires, and I also make fantastical drawings of collapsing debris and destroyed homes; bad dreams of what will be in store for us as the earth warms.

For my recent body of work “Bundles” I am focusing on wrapping as a way of containing or repairing whatever has gone wrong, or perhaps covering something better left hidden. With this series I am interested in exploring contrasting textures and inspiring possible narratives about their juxtaposition. 

As a seamstress and former surgeon, I enjoy the chance to cut and manipulate materials in making of my work. My art brings the human narrative and a subtle bit of humor to some serious subject matter. 


“now that we have only this,” 2020, gouache, ink and charcoal, 30” x 22”
“prick,” 2019, acrylic on molded tyvek and barbed wire, 18” x 14” x 6”
“it’s getting too easy to cry,” 2019, acrylic on molded tyvek ,faux fur, velvet, barbed wire, 20” x 16” x 5”
“escape,” 2020, acrylic on molded tyvek and rope, 19” x 14” x 4”
“never be the same,” 2019, ink, charcoal and colored pencil, 30” x 22”
“discreet,” 2019, acrylic on molded tyvek; paper and twine, 16” x 12” x 4”
“survivor,” 2019, acrylic on molded tyvek and lace curtain, 16” x 16” x 4”