Susan’s images are complex, layered and creative, not just in process, but in content. Using objects, emotions, artists and ideas, she designs and is carried by the providence of her photographic uniqueness. The richness of the lith process enhances the work, not overshadowing the ideas these images contain. I am a fan, even before I found her submission to Critical Mass in 2009. I have been watching her progress, and look forward to seeing the work in the future.
From Tim Rudman (Photographer, author and the world’s leading authority on lith printing):
Susan de Witt uses photography, not as many do to record and reproduce what the camera sees, but to produce very personal images from her imagination. Her photographic prints may be built up from more than one view of the same object or by combining different subject matter to produce a final result that is greater than its constituent parts.
The surreal overtones in her images play both to the subconscious and to the imagination, telling us not what to see but inviting us to see in them what we find.
Her choice of the lith printing process to produce her multiple images presents her both with real technical challenges due to the nature of the process and significant aesthetic advantages as the distinctive visual properties of the lith prints produced in this way further removes her imagery from the realism of conventional photographic reproduction.”
From Christopher James (Professor and Chair of Photography at The Art Institute of Boston at Lesley University):
Susan’s images are photo – graphic in the way that light leaves its mark upon the mind’s eye. They are, for me, reminiscent of those rarefied graphic impressions I recall when thinking of portraits in the work of Leonard Baskin, the impressions of the deconstructed / reconstructed dolls from Hans Bellmer Die Puppe (1932) or the forensic aesthetics unearthed in a Frederick Sommer photograph. It is their densely graphic intensity that I am attracted to and surprised by. Susan’s photographic works are about marking with light and inviting the viewer to create something new from their life experiences. In this way, her dark images illuminate our imaginations.
In her own words:
Serendipity plays a part when I print with lith chemicals. Often unrepeatable results appear before me on the paper, results that excite me in their unpredictability. I appreciate the pen-and-ink-drawing quality that lith provides me; reality disappears from the page, bringing forth an illusion for the viewer, a misrepresentation of accuracy. All of my composites are done in the darkroom, where absurdity takes precedence over actuality.
Susan de Witt received her training at the Photographic Center Northwest, in Seattle. She has studied and worked with Mary Ellen Mark, Bruce Barnbaum, Holly Roberts, and others. She has exhibited across the US, and is represented by Alamy Images, London, England.
All images copyright Susan de Witt. Used with permission.
These images are incredible, great work!
John & Suzanne