Born in Surrey, England, Archer studied at the Sutton School of Art 1962-64, before moving to Australia in 1965. She has travelled widely throughout Africa, Asia, Europe, the USA and most recently China including residencies at the Greene Street Studio in New York, the Power Studio at Cite Internationale in Paris and Redgate Residency Beijing.
Archer has an extensive exhibiting history with more than 30 solo exhibitions and over 150 group exhibitions. She has received many awards including the Dobell Prize for Drawing in 2010 and the Wynne Prize in 1994. She has also won the Fishers Ghost Award in 1997 and 1998, and a fellowship from the Visual Arts/Craft Board, 1993.
Suzanne Archer's acclaimed work has been widely reviewed by respected arts writers including Elwyn Lynn, Christopher Allen, James Gleeson and Sasha Grishin. Her work is widely represented in the major art galleries, notably the Australian National Gallery, the National Gallery of Victoria and the Art Gallery of NSW, as well as in regional galleries across the country, university collections, Artbank and significant private collections. Archer's works in her last exhibitions, her paintings, sculptures and prints have questioned our very existence and its meaning and engage the viewer in a profound dialogue. However her recent work takes her recent engagement with her experience of China as its current theme.
In the last few years I have visited China twice and my current work is involved with subjects that relate to that experience. I am always reflecting on my own self and my response to new stimulus. In my recent sculptures I am using found objects and re-presenting them in a new way by combining and integrating the various forms by the use of a common additional material in order to consolidate the newly constructed assemblage. I would consider that my work is conceptually based although I engage thoroughly and compulsively with my chosen mediums creating solid art-objects in order to express my ideas. Recently I have also begun to be fascinated with Installation as another medium. I am interested in the placement of a collection of objects that all together present a whole piece. My sculptural works often influence and become the subject for my paintings and drawings.
It has always been my practice to work in various disciplines working often in painting, sculpture and drawing in tandem, each feeding the other with one of them often taking priority.
When in the act of making I am only concerned with the business of creating the work and my relationship with the process at the time. I am not consciously focussed on the eventual audience (this comes later when preparing an exhibition); then above all I hope that the audience will react to my work, to be curious about it, fascinated and enquiring of it and to consider a dialogue with the often confronting imagery as well as observe my intense engagement with my materials.