She was ignored for decades, but now Suter has been rediscovered as a pioneering eco-artist. We meet her, and her 97-year-old collagist mum, in the wilds of Guatemala
A large dog romps across a blue and white canvas, leaving a trail of brown paw prints. Oh well, shrugs Vivian Suter. Theyre part of the work now. I dont think anyone will mind. I realise Bonzo one of three Alsatian crossbreeds that shadow the artist wherever she goes in her Guatemalan home has just put the finishing touches to an artwork that will shortly be on public display thousands of miles away.
The painting lies on the floor of her laager a storage barn open to the elements, apart from a metre-high stone wall, which you have to clamber over with the help of a rickety chair. The wall is to guard against mudslides, she explains, gesturing at a ghostly tideline that rings the interior. Most of her works hang from a rack; the piles on the floor are for three upcoming exhibitions in Berlin, London and Madrid. Having just opened a 53-piece installation at Tate Liverpool, Suter is halfway through choosing the 200 works that will feature in her Camden Arts Centre exhibition, which opens next week.