Friday, September 13, 2013

Susan Tooke

artist's profile

Kejimkujik Woodlands, Gallery Page and Strange

My abstraction of the landscape is based on response to the energy of the environment around me. Beginning with an underpainting that sets a powerful tone to the work, I develop shorthand for dealing with the elements of the landscape.  I work to translate the dynamics of the landscape into the visual image. Lines of energy, sweeping forces of wind and the dynamics of water are interpretive and expressionistic.

With influences stemming from Anne Meredith Barry and Emily Carr, my palette exaggerates and simplifies the existing colours found in nature, substituting bold contrasting colour to emphasize elements in the composition.  Forms are delineated with complimentary colour; the image is flattened.  Patterns create the textures of the rocks, earth, waves and their inhabitants to express the ‘soul’ of the landscape. 

Over the past four years, I have been working with Lukas Pearse, Véronique MacKenzie and Tim Tracey exploring media arts. The results have been exciting projects with Motion Activated (Lukas and Véronique), and Depths of Sorrow, the commemorative multidisciplinary work created for the 100th anniversary of Titanic tragedy.

Curriculum Vitae 


October 2013      Motion Activated page 5, ArtsPlace, Annapolis Royal, Nova Scotia

Sept. 2013         Woodlands: New work by Susan Tooke, Gallery Page and Strange

June/July 2013    Motion Activated: collaborative installation with Veronique Mackenzie/Lukas 

                        Pearse: Saint Mary's University Art Gallery, Halifax, curator: Robin Metcalfe. 

March 2013        Presentation Grant, Dept. of Communities, Culture and Heritage

February 2013    Paper: works on paper by selected artists, Gallery Page and Strange

April 2012          Depths of Sorrow: Titanic 100- Motion Activated-Multi-media.

January 2012      Kenetic Studio: Motion Activated(page two) with Veronique
                        MacKenzie/Lukas Pearse. 

October 2011      Nocturne: Motion Activated (page one) with Veronique MacKenzie and Lukas

October 2011      Established Artist Award: Short list.

August 2011       Transformation: New work by Susan Tooke, Gallery Page and Strange

May 2011           Professional Development grant: media, Dept. of Communities, Culture and

May 2011           Lillian Shepherd Memorial Award for Excellence in Illustration: The City
                        Speaks in Drums. 

February 2011     Creation Grant, Department of Communities, Culture and Heritage.

February 2010     Residency, Leighton Artists’ Colony, Banff.

Mar. 2010           Development Grant, Canada Council for the Arts (Motion Activated)

Feb. 2010           Up Home: Original paintings, The Cape Breton Centre for Craft and Design

Sept. 2009         Up Home: Original paintings,The Black Cultural Centre for NS.

April 2009          Up Home: Original paintings, Art Gallery of Nova Scotia.

April 2009          Up Home wins The Best Published Book Award, Atlantic Book Awards.

April 2009          Up Home wins the Lillian Shepherd Memorial Award for Excellence in

May, 2008          Free as the Wind: Saving the Horses of Sable Island, winner Alberta 
                        Children's/Young Adult Book of the Year Winner.

June 7, 2007       Industry Growth Investment, Department of Tourism, Culture and Heritage.

June 10, 2007     Brave Jack and the Unicorn, winner of the Newfoundland and Labrador Book
                        Award, Bruneau Family Children’s Literature Award.

2005                 Brave Jack and the Unicorn, original paintings, Government House, Halifax.

2005-2007         This is Our Land, Images of America and the World, touring exhibition: USA
June-Sept.2003   Beyond the Letters: A Retrospective of Canadian Alphabet Books The National
                        Library of Canada, Ottawa.

June 2003          Nova Scotia Arts Council, creation grant, to create paintings for Brave Jack and
                        the Unicorn.

May 2003           Mayor’s Award for Excellence in Book Illustration, HRM, Full Moon Rising.

Feb.2003            Lillian Sheppard Memorial Award for excellence in Illustration: Full Moon

April, 2002         Atlantic Booksellers’ Choice Award, short list, A Fiddle for Angus.

2002                 The Best Children’s Books of the Year, designation for A Fiddle for Angus,
                        Bank Street College,NY. 

Fall, 2002           Maclean’s Magazine, Full Moon Rising chosen as one of 12 top Canadian 
                        picture books for 2002. 

Sept. 2000          A Seaside Alphabet, original paintings, Art Gallery of Nova Scotia, Halifax, 


1999-2000          Artists as Children, Art Gallery of Nova Scotia, Halifax, Nova Scotia,

                             curator: Virginia Stephen.

2000                 Nova Scotia Arts Council, Presentation Grant. 

1999                 Nova Scotia Arts Council, Travel Grant

1998                 Manhattan Arts International 1998 7th Annual Competition, NYC, NY- Artist
                       Showcase Award.

1992                Subject Matter: Contemporary Painting and Sculpture in Nova Scotia, Art 

                      Gallery of Nova Scotia, curator, Robin Metcalfe. 


2005               Enduring Community Photomontage: Metepenagiag Heritage Park, Inc., Red
                     Bank, New Brunswick.

2002               Almost Normal: collaboration with Véronique Mackenzie, Ariella Pahlke and 

                     Sarah Bonnemaison, Sir James Dunne Theatre. 

2002               Atlantic New Dance Festival: Palimpsest of an Interior Elevation with an 
                          Inhabitant collaboration with Véronique Mackenzie, Ariella Pahlke and Sarah 

2000              Point Pleasant Park: Artists’ Response, Nova Scotia Provincial Archives,
                    curator, Gary Castle. 

1999              Parks Canada-Monument Lefebvre National Historic Site, NB.

1998              Ryan Premises National Historic Site, Bonavista, NL, (digital photo montage).

1997              Halifax Citadel National Historic Site (paintings, illustrations and digital photo 

1996              Face Value: Nova Scotia Portraiture: Generations/Conversations, collaborative
                     multi-media work with V. MacKenzie, Art Gallery of Nova Scotia, curator,  
                     Virginia Stephen.                     


2011             Creative Nova Scotia Leadership Council.

2011             Carfac National: board member.

2009-present  President, CARFAC Maritimes.

2011             Juror, Governor General’s Award for Illustration.

2006             Juror, Governor General’s Award for Illustration.

2003             Juror, Governor General’s Award for Illustration.

1999-2000     Chairperson, Visual Arts Nova Scotia.

1995-1996     Artist in Residence, Saint Mary's University Art Gallery Media Centre, 1995-1997.

1994,1995     Juror, Nova Scotia Art Bank Purchase Program.

1993-1995     Member, Board of Governors, Art Gallery of Nova Scotia.


1996             Nova Scotia College of Art and Design, Halifax, computer graphics.

1977             New School for Social Research, New York City: postgraduate, Media Studies.

1972             Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, Virginia: B.F.A.


Susan Tooke


2575 Elm Street

Halifax, Nova Scotia,


B3L 2Y5