Susan Seubert’s Fine Art Exhibit, “The Fallacy of Hindsight”

"Entwined", 50x40", Digital Pigment Print from Wet Plat Collodion Negative, 2015, edition of 15, signed, numbered and dated on verso, model: Twinka Thiebaud

“Entwined”, 50×40″, Digital Pigment Print from Wet Plate Collodion Negative, 2015, edition of 15, signed, numbered and dated on verso, model: Twinka Thiebaud

April 2015 is “Photo Month” in Portland and to celebrate I’ve mounted an exhibition at the Froelick Gallery entitled, “The Fallacy of Hindsight.”

You can read a review of the show by David Stabler here.

“Looking back, all of us could have made different choices that would have affected our lives today. A job taken or not. A relationship pursued or not. A relocation at a pivotal moment. Susan Seubert’s small, evocative photographs at Froelick Gallery spring from her past, documenting choices she made over the past 25 years.”

The work addresses notions of hindsight bias and memory. In conjunction with the Photolucida Events, I’ll be speaking at the gallery on April 25th at 11am.  The talk is free and open to the public and I hope to see many of you there!  The Froelick Gallery is located near the intersection of NW Davis and Broadway at 714 NW Davis in the DeSoto Building.

Following is the press release:

“In her solo exhibit, renowned photographer Susan Seubert will exhibit two distinct bodies of work on the subject of hindsight bias. 100 Memories, a series of 100 5″ x 5″ photographs recreating moments from the past 25 years of her life, alternating between literal depiction and emotional interpretation of events. Through these she examines her own choices and biases. The High Arctic is a series of photographs taken in June 2014 in the archipelago of Svalbard, where “the vast fields of broken ice sheets demonstrate global warming in the most literal of lamentable illustrations”. Entwined, a stand-alone work, shows its subject holding a large ball of twine which wraps around her face, conjuring feelings of being bound by one’s own thoughts while also possessing the means to control them.”

Here is a glimpse of the installation:

The installation at the Froelick Gallery of Susan Seubert's show, "The Fallacy of Hindsight"

The installation at the Froelick Gallery of Susan Seubert’s show, “The Fallacy of Hindsight”




Wet Plate Collodion Photographer Susan Seubert shoots for Smithsonian Magazine 101 Objects Issue

This was one of the most challenging assignments I’ve had in recent years.  I received a call from my editor at the Smithsonian Magazine asking if I would be available to shoot in Washington, D.C.  It was going to be in July, (read: hot!), and would take about a week.  The editors at the magazine were busy coordinating  seven photographers from around the United States, including Dan Winters, David Burnett and Albert Watson, to photograph a collection of objects at various Smithsonian Museums. I have been working in wet-plate collodion for about five years now, and was surprised to learn the photography department was interested in that work for an assignment. It was the first time anyone had ever commissioned work from me based on my “fine art” portfolio.

The title of the issue is called, “101 Objects That Made America.”  The segment I photographed is entitled, “America In the World,” and all the objects that were chosen have to do with America as it relates to the world. You can see the pictures online here.

The pieces I was assigned to photograph span five centuries.  The oldest “object” was a Novus Orbis map from 1532, based on tales from Christopher Columbus and Amerigo Vespucci.  It depicts the world as round, which at the time was a new idea, South America takes up most of that hemisphere and Cuba is where North America lies.  The youngest object that I was assigned gave me the most pause and I felt a bit of a chill when the curators brought it to our makeshift studio.  It is from 2001 and was donated to the Smithsonian by the New York City police. The stairwell sign from the 102nd floor of one of the twin towers that was destroyed in the terrorist attacks of September 11th was gently put on the set.  It had been found at the dump where the debris from the site had been taken in order to find any human remains or other significant evidence from that terrible day in American history.

When the issue was launched, the letter from the editor invited people to discuss the objects chosen for the special issue and to participate in a dialogue about what was included and why.  I cannot imagine the vetting process of choosing only 101 objects out of 37 million.  However, to be in such close proximity to things such as the Pocahontas engraving – the oldest piece in the National Portrait Gallery’s collection – was an extraordinary experience and one I will never forget.

The opening spread in Smithsonian Magazine for the section I illustrated, "America In the World."

The opening spread in Smithsonian Magazine for the section I illustrated, “America In the World.”

The second spread in Smithsonian Magazine where the oldest and newest objects are placed alongside a gas mask from World War I, the sign from the TV show, Mash, and a salvaged nuclear fallout shelter.

The second spread in Smithsonian Magazine where the oldest and newest objects are placed alongside a gas mask from World War I, the sign from the TV show, Mash, and a salvaged nuclear fallout shelter.

Wet Plate Collodion Photographer Susan Seubert reviewed in Equine

Any ink is good ink and this morning I was pleased to read a review in The Oregonian of the group show that my work is in at the Froelick Gallery called, “Equine.”  I made the piece that was curated into this show for my last exhibition, ” r e s t r a i n t.”  When the gallery owner saw the piece, he decided to hold it for this show.  The image is of a bridle with blinders and made with the wet plate collodion process. This piece has sold to a private collector, but I’ve included the image below and there is a link to the review here.  It’s always satisfying when an arts writer understands the territory I’m negotiating with my work and this brief review is no exception.  Thank you Bob Hicks!

"Horse Bridle with Blinders," 5x4", ambrotype, 2011



Fine Art Photographer Susan Seubert to speak at the Froelick Gallery

During the month of April 2011, many galleries around Portland will be showing photography in tandem with events surrounding the Photolucida portfolio reviews.  On Saturday, April 16th, photographer Ron Van Dongen and I will be giving brief lectures about our work at the Froelick Gallery. The gallery is located at 714 NW Davis St. and the event will start at 11am.  It is free and open to the public.  I will be talking about my most recent body of work entitled, “r e s t r a i n t,” a series of 4×5″ wet-plate collodion ambrotypes that are a meditation on the word restraint.  If you can’t make it to the talk, you can see the work and read my artist statement at, my fine art web site.  I look forward to seeing you at the gallery!

Hotel Room 9, 5x4", wet-plate ambrotype, 2011

fine art photographer Susan Seubert working in wet-plate collodion

Greetings!  The holiday season is upon us already… my how time flies.  Last week was a flurry of assignments but with the annual slowing down of work around this time of year, I usually take some time to work on personal projects.  This year is no exception.  My good friend and mentor, Jody Ake moved to Portland recently and agreed to give me a refresher course on wet-plate collodion.  For a one-person show in 2009 during Portland’s biennial photo festival, Photolucida, I showed a group of 25 full plate ambrotypes – a study of birds nests that I created during a workshop in 2008 at the Oregon College of Arts and Crafts that Jody taught. This piece was also included in the Tacoma Art Museum’s 2009 Northwest Biennial.

grid of 8x10" ambrotypes entitled, "Nest"

Since that show, I’ve been busily filling print orders and taking assignments and have not had a large enough block of time to get back into the wet darkroom… until now!  Often I use my holiday card as a conceptually simplistic way to get my creative ball rolling again.  I’m looking forward to continuing to work in the wet-plate process making not only ambrotypes, but also ferrotypes.  Happy Holidays!

wet-plate ambrotype of mercury glass ornaments

Susan Seubert’s piece, “Nest” wins juror’s choice award

The Center for Fine Art Photography in Colorado has announced the winners of the 2009 Art In Nature exhibition and my piece entitled “Nest” has been selected for the exhibition.  The juror was Kathy Moran, National Geographic magazine’s first senior editor for natural history projects.  It is a tremendous honor to have been one of the 48 artists chosen from three countries.  The exhibition will be on display at the gallery from December 4th, 2009 until January 9, 2010.

Nest #1 from the series, "Nest"

Nest #1 from the series, "Nest"

Susan Seubert wins at the International Photo Awards

The International Photography Awards announced this morning the winners of their annual competition.  I am pleased to announce that I placed second in the Professional Category of Fine Art Nature in the sub category of “Other” with my piece entitled, “Nest.”

This is a tremendous honor and I wish I could go to the awards ceremony, but alas, I’ll be surfing in Maui the night of the festivities.  We will, however, raise a glass to all the other participants and wish good luck to the overall winner.  Thank you IPA!

Nest #1 from the series, "Nest"

Nest #1 from the series, "Nest"