04 March 2014

behind the scenes - Susan Wirth for This Wild Song

When I first discovered Susan Wirth she was creating mixed media works, like the following piece.  I approached her to be a part of the This Wild Song series and when we met in person I was surprised to learn how her practice had altered course, and she was currently working on wearable sculptures and forms.  I was intrigued how she felt changing direction, and as she mentions in her interview it didn't feel like a huge shift as she's always worked across multiple disciplines.

Susan is currently an artist in residence at Laughing Waters which was Clifton Pugh's studio and residence.  Located close by is The Black Dam which is a small watering hole, and it's said that Rick Amor gave it its name.  When Susan sent me some photos of the dam I knew that was where I wanted to shoot her portrait, waist deep in it no less.  Thankfully she was up for it and didn't mind getting the beautiful suit she had made wet.

We shot her portrait on a warm morning in December and I played around with a few ideas (just in case) and saved the dam images for last.  I was shooting on film and I love the following photograph but it didn't quite have the impact I wanted.

As it turned out the photograph I selected as her portrait for This Wild Song was one of the last pictures I took, and it was on the digital camera for safety/back up.  It had been overcast all morning and when we were just about finished a little slice of sunshine came through highlighting her in the water.  Lucky timing!

Thank you so much to Susan for agreeing to be a part of the project, I had an absolute ball shooting this portrait.  Good times.

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