By Danielle Kalamaras
Photographer Susi Brister recreates fantastical worlds usually kept secret in the realms of dreams. Her landscapes are filled with luscious fauna and through dramatic lighting and color enhancement, the everyday world becomes a sublime yet stoic scene. Taking center stage of these scenic worlds are aberrant figures draped with decorative fabrics and fully covered to the viewer as to not give a hint to the living organism beneath the dress. She dresses models in patterned textiles and fabrics to echo the natural world around them. As these playful figures mimic the world they are planted into, the photograph becomes a surreal montage that blurs the the line between the reality of the landscape and the fantasy of the rogue figure.
Read on for an artist statement by written by Susi Brister.
Susi Brister: Artist Statement
"My photographic work explores the interplay between the natural world and the synthetic imitations that humans have conceived to re-create nature. Using artificial materials and patterned textiles that echo objects found in nature (faux fur, artificial flowers, synthetic hair extensions) or pre-printed landscape representations, I construct and photograph ambiguous forms inserted into various natural environments. The resulting images present at times fantastical vignettes of mysterious figures inhabiting otherworldly landscapes while others exhibit an uncanny camouflaging effect. Altogether, my work is a contemporary investigation of the human drive to create an idealized but altogether artificial representation of the natural world.
Throughout my work I am blurring boundaries between sculpture, performance, and portraiture, playing with notions of natural vs. artificial, and challenging traditional photographic renderings of the figure in the landscape. At once both humorous and melancholy, my images resonate with a psychological tension, evoking notions of the sublime and the slippage between real and imaginary."
Visit Susi Brister's website to learn more about her artwork.
Click here to view the online exhibition "Un-Natural Nature" which features the artwork of 30 SciArt Center Members.