I can’t remember when I first stumbled across the enigmatic work of Susu Laroche, but her unusual imagery burned itself into my subconscious, and I found myself encountering it with an odd regularity. Sharing her pictures and words became a task I had to undertake. Enjoy.
Would you mind talking about the time you spent in Egypt and France, and how you ended up in London?
I was born in London, in a hospital that closed down immediately after my birth. My parents are from Egypt and France respectively, so I’ve spent time in many places.
I’ve never lived in London, or even spent a considerable amount of time there, and so was wondering what it’s like to live there as an artist? Do you consider it home?
It’s home. There’s always something new to be found or noticed here, depending on the progression of your eye / mind. Lately I find myself cooing over motorway bridges, brand new concrete paths and the DLR tracks.
Do you frequently travel our of the capital to source material for your work? Is there anywhere in particular outside of London that inspires you?
I wish I did, money is an issue. I do what I can.
How important is solitude when you are creating?
Your style is mysterious, gritty and distinctive. Can you please describe the process you go through to create an image?
I couldn’t pinpoint a certain process other than one of pure play, instinct and trance.
Have you always been attracted to mysticism? How did this fascination for the ‘out of the ordinary’ begin?
I used to sit up all night watching horror films with my father when I was a child. He’d explain to me all the lore. This is the earliest I can track the interest.
You create your work in an attic. Can you please talk about the importance of this space to you, and what the benefits of working there are?
The attic is my ‘studio’ and it is in my home. It allows me to work without interference. I cannot live apart from my work. It’s a nice place to sit, drink, listen to music and inhale asbestos.
What’s the story behind your name Susu Laroche?
It’s my real name. It translates to Awakening the Rock. It’s anagram is Chaos Lure Us, or Chaos Rule Us.
For one of your videos, I believe that you use the intro to the Burzum song Tuistos Herz. Would you say you’re inspired by the work of Varg Vikernes, and what was it about this particular track that encouraged you to use it?
Stanley Schtinter makes the music. According to him, “On Walworth Road a few years ago I found a synthesizer with a floppy disc in the drive. The first sound I got out of that disc is the one you identify as belonging to Burzum. I don’t buy instruments – I use what I find, or what I’m given. I don’t generally use samples, but nor do I re-record. It worked, so we’re stuck with it.”
I wouldn’t say I was inspired by Varg but obviously he’s very interesting.
Your first book is published in 2014. Can you please provide some details about this?
It’s an 80 page book of my work from 2010 to 2013 and it’s published by Purge in Spring 2014.
Where do we need to look to find you?
I can’t be looked at directly