And your studio... I don't know what to say. It was one of the best experiences of my life. And I'm not exaggerating. When I wrote about your work last year, I knew I loved it, but to see it in reality, close up... I could feel the paint dragging me in, as if, were I to touch it (the really thick bits), I would dissolve into a different world – a dream... or nightmare... I adore texture, so, well, WOW!!! And then there was the pink crackly crumbly scraped one... with its detritus on the floor beneath... and the huge black/blue/yellow one to its left, which seemed to explore just about every type of mark-making possible to conceive of... and the yellow just blitzing itself in... and the shadow of a head?? and the "actual" heads... the one very obviously of Susie... and some were just inexplicably sad. It was the eyes. Perhaps the way they were angled? I just know I felt a gut wrench. The saddest of all, on the easel. Is that one finished, or still in its infancy? It felt somehow bare – I guess it hasn't grown its layers yet like all the others – but in this nakedness it felt incredibly vulnerable... if it were possible to hug a painting I would want to give that one a great big hug! The orange one on the floor is just the most amazing colour, too... The pink, orange and yellow – sheer joy – like hearing my favourite music loudly. Funnily enough, as I got back to the car, Pavarotti was singing, and I realised that your work has the same effect on me as opera – it is an absolute emotional rollercoaster, completely raw and visceral, and not a single further breath of passion could be infused into it – it has it all and is confident and loud in its brokenness.

Anna McNay

Susie Orbach and Frances Aviva Blane