Susan Benson RCA shares slides and stories from a 50 year career in stage and costume design in theatre, ballet and opera. Enjoy viewing her portrait paintings in the main hall and an exhibit of her costume and set design on the main stage at Mahon Hall. Susan Benson was born in Kent, England. She trained as a painter in the UK before emigrating to Canada. Over the years her work as a painter has been interwoven with design for the theatre, ballet and opera. As designer she worked with distinguished directors and companies in some of the world’s great houses. Her costume- and set-designs are instantly recognizable for authenticity, imagination, craftsmanship and an artist’s attention to subtlety of line and colour. Her work has been repeatedly recognized in awards and in inclusion in public collections. Portraiture has been prominent in her painting, but the influence of the natural world, especially the scenery of the West Coast of Canada is revealed in her landscapes and in her representations—sometimes approaching abstraction—of natural forms. Susan’s time spent in the Leighton Colony at the Banff Centre has had a profound effect on her work as a painter. The original time spent in the Colony was part of a Banff Centre Award for Contributions to the Arts in Canada. Since then she has been able to spend further time in the Colony developing her painting. She now lives on Salt Spring Island on the West Coast of Canada.