Award Winning Artist Susan Gunn commissioned to paint ‘low carbon’ frieze for The Enterprise Centre

Norwich University of the Arts Alumni and internationally acclaimed artist Susan Gunn has been chosen to create her signature art for the £11.6 million ambitious and ground-breaking low carbon building project that is The Enterprise Centre at the University of East Anglia in Norwich. The 20 metre painting will span the length of the lecture theatre entrance wall creating a dramatic and evocative centrepiece.

Gunn uses natural earth pigments, a traditional binder and natural beeswax together with regionally sourced linseed oil to provoke fractured surfaces that develop during the drying process.

Susan Gunn comments on the project:

“This is a fantastic project on which to collaborate with the developers of The Enterprise Centre, the Adapt Low Carbon Group and architectural firm, Architype. The innovative concept and sustainable materials used in the building dovetail perfectly with my approach to painting. I aim to keep the carbon footprint of the painting as low as possible using ethically sourced and natural materials. The bespoke museum grade stretchers adhere to stringent standards using 80% recycled aluminium and poplar plywood from a sustainable source within the EU.”

The painting will be made in panels that hang together as a frieze, approximately 20 metres long. Over the eleven panels there are sequences of 11 pigments that form the layout incorporating a colour scheme to echo the natural surroundings.

“I love this numerical arrangement as a concept, where effectively the sequence ends at the beginning and the chronological cycle comes full circle. The rhythm of the piece is rather idiosyncratic which throws up interesting combinations and I am pleased that each piece is entirely unique. The idea is for the spaces divided vertically to form a resonance or rhythm as the eye will wander over the panoramic work.”

“I was particularly inspired by the offset vertical lines of the trees visible in the atrium from the Memorial Gardens and conservation site in the grounds of the building; the vertical divisions in the painting aim to accentuate these and bring an order to the organic fractures evident in the surface.”

John French, Project Director of The Enterprise Centre and CEO of Adapt, said:

“We’re delighted that Susan Gunn has accepted this commission. Her artwork perfectly resonates with the building’s low carbon, sustainable ethos. It will have a major impact on all users and visitors to The Enterprise Centre. It will be a stunning and dramatic piece.”

The Enterprise Centre – the UK’s greenest commercial building – will open in spring 2015. Susan Gunn’s commission for The Enterprise Centre is sponsored by Turquoise International Ltd.