Raw Material | Susan Ruptash

November 24 to December 5, 2021

Raw Material – Ruptash and Purchase

This show is running in parallel to Raw Material | Doris Purchase. Although their work contrasts in many ways, Susan and Doris share a desire to bring attention to overlooked objects – for Susan it is viewing the paper itself as art rather than a vehicle upon which to make art. For Doris, it is highlighting the frame and supporting parts of art. The attraction is in the opposites supporting each other in the subtleness of colour or lack thereof, a love of the seemingly simple statement and presentation.

Artoronto.ca review : Artist Talk with Susan Ruptash and Doris Purchase at Propeller Gallery (Zhiyi Fang, Dec. 7, ’21)

Exhibition Statement

The work in Raw Material continues my quest to reveal the hidden qualities of Japanese washi. Working primarily with heritage washi, I apply minimal interventions to form a new expression for each sheet of washi. I want to draw attention to the translucency, gorgeous fibre structure, subtle colours, surface textures, as well as the hidden qualities of strength and the subtle differences caused by the choice of fibre, drying method, even the quality of the water used in the process.

My work is process based. I research traditional Japanese techniques for treating washi, often used in the past for utilitarian purposes, then adapt parts of those processes to embed bits of history into the piece. Some of my work includes many repetitive tasks, which can feel like a homage to the generations of traditional washi makers who have toiled for centuries creating this amazing material.

Susan Ruptash

excerpt from Artist Talk


Susan Ruptash is a paper artist who works in a variety of paper arts including explorations of handmade washi, printmaking and bookmaking, building on a lifelong fascination with the properties and possibilities of paper. Susan’s career as an architect has informed her explorations of structure, form, materiality and process. Susan is a member of Open Studio, focussing on intaglio printmaking, as well as a member of the Canadian Bookbinders and Book Artists Guild. Susan’s work often includes embedded efforts that may not be readily apparent on viewing, but contribute to the finished piece through curiosity and respect for the materials. For this reason, many of her works appear minimalist at first glance.

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