Suzie MacKenzie studied Fine Art as a mature student at the University of Loughborough, before returning to the northern Highlands of Scotland where she now lives and works. In 2013 she attended a series of workshops at the Highland Print Studio in Inverness which rekindled her interest in collagraph, and since that time has predominantly worked in the medium. Suzie draws on her previous career as a teacher as well as her printmaking experience to teach occasional workshops, and has been involved in delivering projects to local community groups. She has described her process for Jackson's Art blog and AccessArt, and has written a book on the subject entitled Making Collagraph Prints, published by The Crowood Press in May 2019. She is a member of the Society of Scottish Artists and has recently completed a Master of Arts degree with Distinction in Contemporary Art and Archaeology at the University of the Highlands and Islands.
Suzie’s work has been exhibited nationally and internationally and can be seen in exhibitions, galleries and at print fairs across Scotland and the north of England. She has had collagraph prints selected for the Center for Contemporary Printmaking's Tenth Biennial International Miniature Print Exhibition in 2015, Royal Birmingham Society of Artists’ biennial Print Prize Exhibition in 2014 and 2016, the Society of Scottish Artists’ 118th and 119th Annual Exhibitions, and was invited to exhibit in the Master Printmakers show at Leeds Craft Centre and Design Gallery in 2017. In 2022 she was awarded a commission by the Royal Society of Antiquaries of Scotland, working with Archaeology Shetland to create an artwork on the theme of climate change archaeology. Her work is held in private collections in UK, Europe, North America and Australasia.
Collagraph is currently my main medium of choice. It is an endlessly versatile and exciting printmaking medium which can be printed either in relief, or intaglio, or as a combination of both, and is an environmentally-friendly way of making prints which are pulled from textured, collaged plates. Mountboard is used as the basis for the plate. The board is incised using a scalpel, and areas of the top layer peeled off to reveal the underlying surface. Artists’ mediums are added to create further areas of texture and occasionally other elements are also glued onto the plate. Once completed the plate is sealed and left to dry before prints are taken from it using an etching press. Many of my prints combine this traditional printmaking method with the use of digitally-prepared coloured chine colle papers, printed using archival inks on mulberry paper and applied during the intaglio printing process.
Most of the prints are in limited editions, never greater than thirty; I often make 'varied editions' where the same plate is used to print from, but each image is unique because changes are made perhaps in colour, the way the plate is wiped, or by added chine colle elements.