Susan Derges

Dec 30, 2011 No Comments by Sea Stories


Born in 1955, Susan Derges trained as a painter before turning to photography and in particular, to the cameraless photography for which she is best known. Internationally regarded and now considered to be one of Britain’s most groundbreaking photographers, much of her recent work has been made at night, in the open air, using the natural world as her darkroom. Drawing on the work of early 19th century experimental photographers, she has created a new and unique method of image-making.

Much of Susan Derges’s work revolves around the creation of visual metaphors. These explore the relationship between the observer and the observed; the self and nature or the imagined and the ‘real’. She endeavours to manifest or capture invisible scientific and natural processes – the physical appearance of sound vibration, the evolution of frogspawn or the cycles of the moon. Her works have taken many photographic forms but she is best known for her pioneering technique of capturing the continuous movement of water by immersing photographic paper directly into rivers or shorelines. She often creates her work at night, working with the light of the moon and a hand-held torch to expose images directly onto light sensitive paper. Her practice reflects the work of the earliest pioneers of photography but is also very contemporary in its awareness of environmental issues and the complexity of its conceptual meanings.

Her work is included in many major public collections, including those of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; The Victoria and Albert Museum, London; Arts Council of England; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; Art Instutute of Chicago; and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art

Coastal Zone, Hibernal 2012

About the Editors

Casey R. Schulke grew up along the Kuskokwim River in a rural Athabascan village in Alaska fishing for king salmon and mushing her sled dog team. She now resides on the shores of Resurrection Bay in Seward, Alaska. Casey's a poet, a naturalist, a dog-lover, has two birds, and is married to a wonderful man.
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