Susan Aldworth is an experimental printmaker and filmmaker who references both neuroscience and philosophy in her work exploring the different narratives which define a Sense of Self. Aldworth holds Research posts at Swansea and London Metropolitan Universities and is Artist in Residence at Newcastle University where she is working on a project looking at some of the narratives – personal, medical and neuroscientific – around schizophrenia.
In 2008 Aldworth project managed, for Westminster Arts, a series of art interventions – music, photography and video – in a number of care settings for older people. The project – Arts and Minds – was documented in the exhibition UNTOLD, funded by the Arts Council, where the project artists responded to their experiences.
She writes about the project: “I made the three etchings Dissolution about three women I had worked with on the project, each of whom had dementia in some form. I had become very close to each of them during the project and I wanted the etchings to document the “dissolution” of The Self which I saw progressing because of their dementias. I experimented with a new etching technique which allowed me to combine both photographic and drawn imagery – I combined photographs of Peggy, Mary and Joan with drawings of the plaques found in the brains of people with Alzheimer’s. I made the faces disappear into the metal when I was etching the plates. I dissolved the faces in the acid as a metaphor for the way dementia dissolves The Self.”
Aldworth regularly exhibits nationally and internationally and has work in many public collections including V&A, British Museum and The Wellcome Collection Library. Exhibitions in 2012 include a solo exhibition Reassembling the Self in at the Hatton Gallery and Vane in Newcastle, Images of the Mind Moravian Gallery Brno, Czech Republic, Polymath at GV Art in London, Between East Wing, Somerset House, London, and 6th International Kyoto Hanga Print Exhibition in Japan. Her work is included in the current Wellcome Collection exhibition Brains mind as matter. A solo display of her multi-image portraits of people with epilepsy will be shown as The Portrait Anatomised at the National Portrait Gallery in 2013. She is represented by GV Art.