Susi Joel is a multidisciplinary artist whose work explores the process of attachment. Drawn to the small and fragile, her work has always united conventionally incongruous elements and discordant materials such as wood and woven fibre or paper and cotton thread. Through this she invites ideas about interdependence, habitat, contextualisation and the nature of pattern or repetition. Her latest projects rehome the seaweed-like Flustra Foliacea in bespoke wall-hung frames. Each piece is unique and commissions can also be made for specific installation purposes.
Often mistaken for a seaweed or coral, Flustra Foliacea is a colonial species of bryozoan found in the north of the Atlantic Ocean. The life of the colony begins with a single individual settling onto an immobile substrate, and after a little growth reproducing asexually by budding. Individual fronds may grow to around 20cm in length with strong tides causing the fronds to lengthen. A lesser known aspect of social and scientific Victorian history is the fashionable pursuit amongst women of beachcombing for seaweed found washed up after storms. The 150-year-old archival collection by Margaret Gatty at St. Andrew’s University, within which Flustra Foliacea can be found, serves as testimony to the bryozoan’s tremendous durability.