Five Minutes With... SOOuK

Posted by Samantha Drury Shore on

Hello and welcome to "Five Minutes With...", our latest blog feature. Each month, we'll be having a brief chat with one of our marvellous suppliers... about life, the universe, and everything. By which I mean interiors and travel, obvs.

Notice board with text "Five Minutes With"

We work with a huge range of clever and creative maker-types, who craft all sorts of beautiful products, from ceramics, candles and chocolate, through prints, pencils and planters, to soap, sculptures and... some other great things. Join us for a glimpse behind the curtain and see what makes them tick. 

Susan Burnell enjoying a cup of tea in front of a rural view

This month, we'll be talking to the very lovely Soo Burnell, the photographer and designer behind SOOuK. SOOuK is turning 5 this year, we will never tire of her striking typographic prints and her Icelandic photography is to die for. Check these out, so much awesome:

Print - Completely Devoted, on desk

Print "Wish you were here" on white sideboard with plants

Icelandic Horse print on table with white ceramics

Black Beach print

'Poolside', an exhibition of Soo's photography has been shown in Edinburgh this year. We adore the light, colour and mood of these pictures:

Girl sitting poolside in Victorian swimming baths

Two girls poolside in a Victorian swimming baths

Gallery window with poolside images

Ok, let's skip to it:

Soo, can you tell us a bit about your work and production process?

I am a photographer and print maker working from my studio just outside Edinburgh. I have spent this year working on a poolside collection documenting the amazing architecture of Edinburgh's 5 public Victorian swimming baths.

I couldn't believe we were lucky enough to have these baths still kept in such beautiful condition when so many across the country have been closed down or re-purposed over time. I liked the idea of shooting the tiny swimmers in a quirky Wes Andersen style, using them to scale the size of the baths.

Susan Burnell at her poolside exhibition

I like to mainly work alone, my studio is on the edge of a beautiful big field which I absolutely love looking out on to. I find it very peaceful. I do all of my editing, framing and wrapping in there normally only with the radio and Ruby my dog for company.  

Studio corner with rural view

Image of a swimming pool being framed

Pile of prints wrapped in cellophane with scissors

Well that sounds absolutely delightful. I think we may be able to guess your answer to our next question now... Which is your favourite room (or corner) of your home and why?

My favourite room is my studio, particularly my new ply storage wall and desk. I love how it all packs away to create a flat play wall and how warm it makes the room feel.

Modern studio in rural setting

Plywood wall with print and chair in front

Plywood wall folding out to desk area

Susan Burnell working at her plywood desk

Massive case of Studio Envy right now. And what an extraordinary piece of furniture! Can we even call it furniture? It's amazing. Love the plywood too, the bricks and mortar version of our store (currently just a dream, but one day, one day!) is filled with it. Now here's a question close to our hearts... can you share with us a White, Black or Grey item from your life and tell us about it? 

I have two beautiful black wooden crows designed by Mikael Nilsson that a friend gave me as a gift. I love the rough charred finish to them, I move them into different rooms all the time. They add a nice styling detail to a stack of books or beside some pictures. 

Print with crow in front of it

Oh look at that handsome fella! The texture is gorgeous. Now we'll segue from flying birds to planes (or trains, or automobiles)... If time and money were no object, where would you take your dream holiday?

I absolutely love travelling, so narrowing it down to one place is so tricky! I would love to visit some of the old swimming baths in Budapest. I have a long list of the old style pools I would love to see starting with Gellert Furdo and Szechenyi Furdo. 

Gellert baths in Budapest

Szechenyi Baths by The Culture Trip


I love the idea of you travelling the world from one swimming pool to the next! We visited the Gellert baths when we were in Budapest ourselves a few years back. Absolutely stunning architecture. You could have a field day there with your camera! Ok, last question... could you tell us about another creative whose work you love?

So many amazing people to choose from... I will choose Wes Andersen who's work has massively inspired my new poolside images. I love how he picks a colour pallette and runs with it through the whole project, and the way he shoots scenes with such beautiful symmetry. It's such an amazing signature. 

Grand Budapest Hotel

 Ahh, great choice. We love Wes Anderson too! A proper auteur and all round genius. Grand Budapest Hotel would definitely be on my Desert Island films list.  

OK, tea break over. Thanks for your time Soo, this has been delightful. We're off to book a trip to Budapest! 

Check out our selection of Soo's prints right ----> here. And here's a link to her A.M.A.Z.I.N.G Instagram feed.  

We hope you enjoyed this new feature. Do feel free to comment with any thoughts... perhaps your own dream holiday destinations, beloved monochrome items, or favourite makers - go on, share the love. 


All images in this post copyright Susan Burnell / SOOuK excluding:
First image in the post copyright White Black Grey Ltd. 
Gellert Furdo image copyright
Szechenyi Furdo image copyright The Culture Trip.
Grand Budapest Hotel image copyright 20th Century Fox.

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