Apr. 1—Sorina Susnea stood in the gallery of Glynn Visual Art on St. Simons Island, surrounded by the pieces of her latest exhibition. One wall was filled with her paintings, shades of blue, white, grey and black.
The swirls of shapes, wormhole-like in design, gave the entire space a sense of movement. Interspersed with the fluidity of her paintings are metallic sculptures, a grounding juxtaposition to the depth of the paintings.
This presentation, titled Touching the Blue Void, was created by Susnea to provoke thought and emotion from gallery-goers.
"It was developed over the last year, and it has three distinct dimensions: painting, ceramic sculpture and light boxes with translucent epoxy resins elements," she said.
The paintings were born in movement. Often, Susnea will use her own body — her hands or forearms — to create the basis for the tunnel-like movement.
Then, she will go in to add detail and refine the piece.
But even with these additions, each work retains a sense of mystery.
"There is that place between ambiguity and the unknown where new knowledge lurks just out of sight," she said.
"A space between the webbed dark matter scaffolding of the universe and the dance of quarks to the rhythm of the strong nuclear force. This is the style of my art and the infinite source of my fascination."
The poetic way she views art and its place in the world comes naturally. In fact, her entire artistic journey unfolded in an organic way. It began when she was a child, growing up in a small town in northeastern Romania.
At the age of 10, she embarked on the path to becoming the creator she is today. In fact, Susnea can recall the precise moment it happened.
"My mother considered any and all extracurricular activities a waste of time. However, apparently the local community center's poetry club was academic enough, so she allowed me to attend. The poetry classroom was next door to the painting class," she said.
"These were not rigorous lessons, but they were offered free by the government. Each met weekly. Now, my mother mistakenly believed — quite possibly by something I had said, that poetry met twice weekly. And so, with colors secretly 'borrowed' from our leftover house paint in the shed, I attended my first painting class."
From that moment on, Susnea poured her heart and soul into her work. She began her studies in art at George Enescu University in Iasi, Romania, earning a bachelor's and master's degree in painting. After relocating to the United States, she received her master of fine art degree from the University of South Florida.
Once in her new country, she continued to study art and display her work. Susena has held solo exhibition, as well as juried shows throughout Florida and New York. She's also won dozens of awards and served as the artist in residence in Quebec, Canada, and Bali, Indonesia.
While she's lived around the world, the Golden Isles became her home a few years back. She now feels entirely in her element.
"We've settled into a more complete sense of peace here than anywhere else. We couldn't have done better," she said.
And as she embraces her new home, Susnea relishes sharing her work with the community. Her current show will be on display though April 9. She'll then shift her attention to reworking her at-home studio to work on creating mixed media essays, entwining her autobiographical writing with artwork. Through that, Susnea will continue to seek to share her thought-provoking pieces.
"All my projects walk a line negotiating what is already known, what can be discovered and what will remain a mystery. The intended journey is provocative, challenging and rewarding. I want the viewer to walk that line with me," she said.
"Once an artwork is placed into the world, my control over what it can generate within a viewer is lost. The viewers are encouraged to seek inspiration in my art, to peer as deeply into themselves as my works peer back, to find their personal boundary between what they believe they know and the true mysteries that fuel creation."