87508 Santa Fe
Susannah Hays is an artist and educator practicing in the fields of philosophy, literature, and ecology as they intersect with historical photographic processes and book arts. Her photographs reveal the essential interconnectedness of all systems in our universe-from the smallest leaf to the cosmos itself. She locates relationships within organic and inorganic patterns. She steps quietly in the footsteps of early pioneers of photographic image-making, looking for clues that connect a photographer with the essence of the medium and the motivation that lies deep within the impulse to photograph. Through Materials & Methods, her teaching investigates how the medium of photography functions to reconcile two disparate realities original to man: the force of mechanical apparatus and the (re)shaping of in-formed or formless matter into authentic, visionary representations.
Susannah first gained recognition for her photographic work in 2000 when she joined Scott Nichols Gallery in San Francisco. She participated in numerous solo and group exhibitions there and continues to exhibit with Seager/Gray Gallery in Mill Valley, CA and Photo-Eye Gallery in Santa Fe, New Mexico. While she is especially known for her cameraless gelatin-silver prints, her artist’s books are equally appreciated for their delicate use of Japanese papers and hand-sewn, non-adhesive bindings. Her seminar courses, developed from embodied mind/phenomenology research, focus on the gap and tensions humans experience between first-person and third-person perspectives. As she herself discovered, photography is a particularly useful tool for negotiating the interface between inner sensations, memories, and perceptions while "looking-out" at exterior urban and rural landscapes.
Born in Boston Massachusetts, Susannah lived in Connecticut before she landed on the West Coast to attend Mills College in Oakland, California in 1978. Spending the next 34 years in Berkeley, she received her MFA in Photography from the San Francisco Art Institute, followed by an MA in Visual Studies and Ph.D. in Interdisciplinary Studies at University of California, Berkeley. Her work is held in numerous private and public collections:
The New York Public Library Spencer Collection
Mills College Heller Rare Book Room
Museum of Fine Arts Houston, Texas
Prentice and Paul Sack Trust San Francisco
Santa Barbara Museum of Art
U. C. Berkeley Environmental Design Library
Yale Art Gallery
Yale Haas Arts Library & Beinecke Library
Getty Research Institute, Santa Monica
Stanford University Cecil H. Green Special Collections Stanford, California