Susan Brandt's Bauhaus-influenced abstract drawings seem to belong to a bygone era.

Hampstead was a haven for European artists and architects fleeing Nazi oppression in the 1930s, and her debut solo exhibition at Amberden Gallery in South Hill Park evokes the area's rich creative heritage.

Susan is part of that artistic heritage; her German-born father Rolf Brandt, was an artist who came to London in 1933 and lived in West Hampstead, and her uncle was photojournalist Bill Brandt, who had his dark room in Belsize Park and is considered one of Britain's most important 20th century photographers.

Ham & High: Serviette pliee aux assiettes 2022Serviette pliee aux assiettes 2022 (Image: Susan Brandt)

Both were influenced by surrealism, Bill worked in Man Ray's Paris studio, while Rolf was drawn into the orbit of the Bauhaus when he lived in Dessau and visited Paul Klee's studio.

The brothers were part of Hampstead's intellectual and artistic community in the late 1930s and '40s and Susan says "they were both shy and very private."

Post war, she was sent by her father to a "free, progressive school in Swiss Cottage where I didn't learn much" and has lived in South End Green for thirty years.

Ham & High: Susa at work in her small room in her house in South End GreenSusa at work in her small room in her house in South End Green (Image: Susan Brandt)

"My father called himself a designer, but he was a painter and a teacher at the London College of Printing and graphic arts. He never taught me, but he completely influenced me, and I started dabbling with oil paints. I once showed him my work and he was really surprised and said 'oh I like that one.'"

For years she worked as a dyslexia teacher in a sixth form college and would draw games and exercises on cards for her students: "The children always loved my illustrations."

Ham & High: Molluscs with perspex 2003Molluscs with perspex 2003 (Image: Susan Brandt)

Since the late 80s she has developed a practice with abstract drawing and pen work, influenced by Klee, Ben Nicholson, Picasso and Naum Gabo among others. Trips to the Chateau Grimaldi in Antibes and "a box full of differently shaped  Perspex that my father had and which I found and still find intriguing" also feed into her artworks.

Exploring the relationships between different forms, light and shade, structure, surface, shape, and texture she says: "I feel I can express myself best through abstracts."

She previously exhibited at Avivson Gallery in Highgate but never on her own before.

"I am self taught and still feel I am an emerging artist, I have never taken myself very seriously but it just happened," says Susan who draws at home in a "small room".

"I really enjoy doing it and seem to have some skill - people have been enthusiastic. I had not thought of selling until someone suggested it, but they do very well."

Susan Brandt sells her work for £250-£450 through her website, and Saatchi Art. Her exhibition is at Amberden Gallery in South Hill Park, Hampstead from October 28 until November 18.