Susan Haywood Smith studied printmaking at Auckland Society of Arts completing further studies at Warringah Printmakers Studio in Sydney. She has exhibited extensively since 2002 in Auckland and Sydney as well as participating in International group shows. Her work is held in both significant private International and New Zealand Collections. Inspiration for Susan’s artwork is derived from her experience as being a Pakeha raised in South Auckland. With no link to her Irish/English heritage to make reference to, she absorbed the rich cultures of the Maori and Pacific Islanders around her. This was further reinforced by her family ties to the Te Arawa Iwi and eventual marriage into this tribe and the Tapuika Hapu. Today she is still reconciling the two worlds of her British lineage alongside her experience of Maoridom and has yet to determine the point of intersection at which she is placed. Her art allows her to work through this dichotomy from which she hopes to create powerful and stirring New Zealand artwork.
The printmaking techniques Haywood-Smith employs include Photopolymer intaglio (Solarplate), Linocut and more recently Giclée. She also utilises linocut for subtle embossing in her artwork. Embossing is a simple yet highly effective method of printmaking that forces the paper into the cut out areas of a plate. The design that is created is made visible by the shadows cast. Unusually Susan’s giclée prints are original artworks printed utilising the contemporary method of digital printing. In order to retain a raw, printerly quality to her giclée designs, she incorporates images that have been printed using traditional methods such as intaglio and relief. She also includes into her giclée designs original graphite drawings which are both tactile and delicate.