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Susann Haehnel – Oxford Artist Talk


Artist talk by local Oxfordshire Artist Susann Haehnel

Type: Adult Education
Date: 23/11/22
Time: 7-8pm
Duration: 1 hour
Venue: The Studio
Fee:  £10

StART aims to give support and a platform to contemporary local Artists with a programme of talks.
Learn what it’s like living as a professional Artist in Oxford today.
Susann Haehnal talks about the experiences and influences that have impacted the art she makes today.
Working mainly in Oils, Susann Haehnel paints Floral and Conceptual Art. Q&A at the end.

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About Susann Haehnel

I am an artist based in Oxford [Barton]. I work primarily in oils, lovestrong colours and often lean towards the lines, forms and shapes ofabstract painting. I believe art can change things – it can help us look at people and situations and the environment, and imagine. Art can help us to live into the future, to imagine more of life’s potential. I seek to explore hope. I want to imagine summer in winter, and in that longing for something different, invite others to see beauty and step into hope too.

I also enjoy painting flowers, or the seaside, or characters that light up story times for my nephews and godchildren. The kids are excited to experience their favourite animal, and I love the time and conversation we share. Painting gives me a way to connect, to nurture relationship.


Art has been running through my veins since my birth. It’s just taken me a while to discover that.

I was born and grew up in Rottluff, East Germany, the small town where Karl Schmidt-Rottluff, the well-known expressionist painter and printmaker, lived and created his art. My great-aunty regularly saw him painting in the fields. And my own great-uncle was a local artist and glass painter around the same time.

I loved anything creative and expressive as a kid: chalk painting in the street, decorating cakes, or crafting unique gifts for family and friends. When I was eight, I drew a rose, deep red, in full bloom. It’s still pinned to my parents’ kitchen cork board. But the business of being a teenager and the demands of secondary education pushed creativity to the sidelines. I was still fascinated by art, but now more as an observer. I admired the work of modern artists of the 20th century – the boldness of Picasso’s shapes, or Dali’s blues and golden yellows. I kept my ‘fingers in the paint’ by taking a few after-school art classes or fiddling with watercolours or landscapes on art holidays. Later, during work trips, I sought out original masterpieces in Washington, or New York, or Milan.

Then, in 2016, I hit a crisis. What was I doing with my life? I needed to make changes, to tap into unfulfilled dreams, to focus my heart and mind in a different place. ‘What does creativity look like for me now?’ I asked myself. And that’s how I rediscovered my love for creating art. I signed up to an oil painting class, and a new artistic venture began. I have since taken several classes at Abingdon and Witney College and am loving exploring, developing my own style – working mainly in oils, but occasionally also with watercolours.

I have found that producing art is a process that engages all of me: physically, emotionally and spiritually. It is the smell of the oil paints, the challenge of interpretation, the joy of creating something worth admiring. It is a prayerful process, and it is connection. As I tap into my creativity, I feel drawn into creation, participant in its eternal mystery.

‘Art is the highest form of hope.’

Gerhard Richter (East Germany)

Susann Haehnel Artist's Website

Susann Haehnel - Oxford Artist Talk