Susan Worsham: Bittersweet on Bostwick Lane

Susan Worsham, a daughter of Richmond, creates photographs that reach back through time while documenting the present. Her work interweaves personal narrative and metaphor in a stunningly beautiful look at death, family, childhood–the place we come from: home, and the place we go for comfort: story.

“Two Towels,” 2011. Archival pigment print.

Bittersweet on Bostwick Lane is a selection of images from Worsham’s larger body of work, Some Fox Trails in Virginia, which highlights, among other things, the artist’s relationship to Margaret, her childhood neighbor. Margaret’s intricate stories and rich memories build layers of meaning for Worsham as she recollects her family history, and heals from the loss of her parents and brother. As the artist explains:

The story came full circle when one day Margaret brought out her dissection kit and microscope slides. I had forgotten that she had been a  biology teacher, and here she was holding the same sort of slides that I was so fascinated with. Margaret’s microscope and slides have since  become a metaphor for my own desire to look deeper into the landscape of my childhood. From the flora and fauna to the feelings, Margaret  calls it “blood work.”

I can remember one particular time when I visited Margaret. I looked out of her large picture window and saw what looked like a nest or  hammock of small red berries draped between the winter trees. I asked Margaret what it was. She answered, why that’s Bittersweet.  “Bittersweet On Bostwick Lane.” 

In 2012, Worsham received the Theresa Pollak Prize for Photography and was named one of Oxford American’s “New Superstars of Southern Art”. She has been artist-in-residence at Light Work in Syracuse, New York and nominee of the Santa Fe Prize for Photography. 

Her work is held in private collections and has been exhibited at Light Work, Danville Museum of Fine Arts, Corcoran Gallery of Art during FotoWeek DC, Photographic Center Northwest, and Dean Jensen Gallery.

The exhibition will open with a reception and artist talk on Friday, January 11, 2013, 6-9pm.

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