Suzy Lake


I was able to attend a guided tour of Suzy Lake‘s photography being presented at the RIC Gallery hosted by the artist herself.  Her work is very much related to women’s issues of control, body image, and aging. While this is not a subject I am studying, it was interesting to hear the artist describe her process.   

Like so many, she certainly starts a project with an idea or concept in mind, but allows herself to follow where it leads, as one goes through the process.  But may be more interesting is her ability to transcend taboos.  For example, in some earlier works she showed, she had heated the film negatives and then stretched them to distort the image.  Integrity of the negative is, for many photographers, sacrosanct.  In another example, she appeared not to hold a definitive position on the use of colour vs. black and white rendering, suggesting a more intuitive approach.  Documentary photographers would typically make this decision after much consideration.  When asked, she didn’t consider herself a documentary photographer. My inference is she’s more of an artist who uses photography in her works.   


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