How The Light Gets In – Susie

I think motherhood has intensified my work… made it deeper, darker, more loving, more emotional, wilder.  Everything just seems more intense.

–  Susie Dureau, How The Light Gets In by Siobhan Costigan 
How The LIght Gets In
“The world is full of comedies and tragedies, of odes and elegies, of promises and endings, of beauty and light; all terrain to be traversed in the odyssey.”
Image via

Only yesterday did I discover the paintings created by Susie Dureau and I’ve been equally moved and inspired by the significance of her artwork.  In a beautiful documentary by Siobhan Costigan (currently available with SBS on Demand, trailer below), Susie explains how she feels her experiences of motherhood have also provided her with a “permission to explore the depth of emotion that I perhaps had shied away from in my life prior to that.”

Little Tsunami - Susie Dureau, How The Light Gets In
“I definitely consider that I have three children.”  Image via Instagram

When people ask me how many children I have, I’ve come to say two, because I can see how terrible people feel when I tell them I have three; two lovely, happy, live children and one little angel.  But I definitely consider that I have three children and we often talk about Eva in our family, and the children and I talk about how lucky we are to have our own special angel.

 – Susie Dureau, How The Light Gets In by Siobhan Costigan 

In 2003 Susie gave birth to her daughter, Eva Serena, but complications during delivery resulted in tragedy.  Susie and her husband were able spend only three hours with their baby girl before she passed away, which Susie describes as the “happiest and then the saddest day” of her life.  “Being able to hold her just for three hours was worth everything.”

Little Tsunami - Susie Dureau
“…a mother daughter portrait.” Susie Dureau and one of her beautiful artworks. Image via Instagram

Susie finds solace in painting, the same doors of escape others might instead find  via therapy or another means that may resonate. Clouds and paper boats, threatened by stormy and perilous seas, feature throughout her artwork.  These elements symbolise the delicate things in life “that are affected by the forces around them”.  Glowing light mixed with dark shade, strong and dangerous, familiar yet uncontrollable.  Rich with promise, at times riddled with foreboding.  Haunting and beautiful, much like the journey through motherhood, markedly different as each may be.

How The Light Gets In is currently available to view with SBS On Demand until 2nd October 2016.

For more information and inspiration view Susie Dureau’s artwork here.

The award-winning work of Siobhan Costigan can be found here.



Leave a Reply