16 Stoddart Street

Newcastle upon Tyne


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In the Studio with Millie Suu-Kyi


Multi-disciplinary artist and winner of The Biscuit Factory’s 2020 Contemporary Young Artist Award returns to the gallery this September with her solo show; Belonging(s).

A playful exploration of the relationships people have with their possessions, Millie’s exhibition is a narrative that has woven throughout her work since she left her family home to gain her degree in Decorative Arts. Her prize-winning submission ‘If the Shoe Fits’ in 2019 was a commentary at the time of life as a modern Brit, and the influence of brands on everyday lives. We spoke to Millie about her new collection, entitled 'Belonging(s)' which is showcased until 23 October.

What was your inspiration for your new showcase?

The inspiration for the show was playfully exploring the relationship between people and their possessions, including how specific items can be used to both enhance one's outward appearance whilst masking one's hidden insecurities.

You have created five characters for your exhibition - can you tell us more about them?

I have always been interested in the possessions people choose to own, identify with and what they hope to convey through them. I wanted to explore this further by developing my own characters and narratives. The characters are imaginary but are based on the people I see around me or have met.

Unlike previous projects where each character represented something different, these characters are meant to simply exist, but with each of them conveying a relatable thought, feeling or experience.

Viv Print | Giclée printed on IFA15 soft white cotton paper | From £250

Sol |Stoneware clay with underglaze and an enamel paint finish | SOLD

Do you have a favourite character, or piece in the show?

I think I always like the first character the best. I feel thankful to them for sparking the idea, they almost feel like an old friend. For this show that's Sol, with his kind face and big green hat. But I am also pretty pleased with the pink handbag as it's probably the most technically ambitious piece I have made to date.

Your practice includes both 2D and 3D art - how do you work across these disciplines?

I have always liked working in different media, having never seen myself as solely an illustrator or a ceramicist. I don't believe my strength as an artist lies in my ability to use either medium, but rather in my ability to combine both to represent an idea.

Having worked in a ceramics gallery, I found that sculpture, although very beautiful, sometimes needs to be given a context. I realised that I enjoyed creating an illustration to establish a context for my ceramic pieces, and therefore generating a sense of cohesion between the 2D and 3D art worlds which I inhabit.

Do you have a vision for the development of your artistic practice?

In all honesty I'm not too sure. The aim is to keep trying to make work that I like and resonates with at least one other person! With every project I feel myself improving technically which allows me to get closer to reaching the ideas I hope to execute.

Millie Suu-Kyi in her studio

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