Susannah Paterson Painter, Ceramicist & Psychotherapist

Susannah Paterson (b. 1960, Scotland)

I am a painter, potter, psychotherapist and a bit of a treasure hunter.
I mainly paint figurative abstract works, and I like making pots that please, whether functional or sculptural.

I have always been a treasure hunter. It's a narrative that I can track right back to my earliest memories - being hypnotized by the diamond trail left by Jack Frost on the window pane on a Scottish winter morning, to scouring through the ancient Bronze Age settlement at the back of my childhood home hoping to find a remnant of lives lived thousands of years ago. Listening to stories of buried Viking hoards, aching to find one of my own and was always searching in the ruined Norman castle on my father’s farm, rumoured to have a long lost smugglers tunnel leading down to the cliffs below. Later, when I became a therapist, I found myself learning to hunt for treasure in a different way - finding the golden thread of hope, the trove of memory and meaning that would complete the picture and provide insight and healing. Now, as a painter. I realise I am doing the same thing. Each work is a new quest to find the treasure hidden somewhere in between the marks I make, my own unconscious mind and my conscious skill. I am looking for beauty, potential, duality and some narrative or universality that will provide a vehicle for conversation and reflection.

Bringing both my art and ceramics together so that they compliment each other is my aspiration.


My education is deep and wide. I hold a Masters of Applied Science (Critical Perspectives of Psychological Practice) UWS,
2 Diplomas in Psychotherapy and Counselling, and one in Clinical Hypnotherapy.
I also hold a Certificate of Professional Practice In Buddhist Psychotherapy.

I spent three years at TAFE studying Fine art and Ceramics (2004 - 2007), though my artistic learning style does better in the freer environment of workshops and short courses. The late Kerrie Lester was an important mentor for several years. Her little dog Chilli is now my studio assistant.

Since 2016 I have attended the Open Studio Program at Brookvale TAFE Ceramics Department under the guidance of Master Potter Chris James. Prior to this I studied ceramics at Willoughby for five years with Master Potter Kwirak Choung.