Susan Guice: Beneath the Surface
work seen at PhotoNOLA…
Susan Guice has a unique photographic perspective. After a successful career in banking, she took flight, quite literally, and decided to fly airplanes. As a licensed commercial pilot, she has worked in aerial and commercial photography throughout the Gulf Coast Region. The view from above revealed the precious and fragile beauty of the land below, and she began to document it as a way of calling attention to that fragility. In the Fall of 2015, the Ohr-Okeefe Museum will host a one-artist show of this work, Home Waters.
When I met Susan at PhotoNOLA, she was bringing work with yet another point of view. Her series, Beneath the Surface, reflects a submerged world, animated by those who appreciate it the most.
Susan is a native Texan, who has lived in South Mississippi since the early 1980’s, after receiving a B.S. in Business from Louisiana State University and an MBA from the University of South Mississippi. She has studied fine art printing under George DeWolfe, a student of Ansel Adams and Minor White, and creative photographic imagery with Keith Carter. She lives on Biloxi Bay with her 6-year old son, husband, and a collection of beautiful cats and a Quaker parakeet named Peppy.
Under the surface of water, the rules of gravity are suspended. Here, the very nature of our bodies seems to change once submerged.
In this changing of the body into newfound freedom, there is likewise a freeing of the mind and release of inhibitions. A changing of the inside by changing the outside. This freeing of the spirit and unpredictable spontaneity that is a joy to behold. The swimmers know I am there, but they quickly become mesmerized by their newfound fluidity and forget themselves into the depths.
Along Coastal Louisiana and Mississippi, post Hurricane Katrina and the BP oil spill, all our water sources have taken on new significance. First, Katrina destroyed homes and adjacent pools. Then, BP poisoned our beloved Gulf of Mexico. Watching children at play in newly minted public or private pools — we realize that things are becoming ‘normal’ again. We’ve waited a long time to feel this way.
There is always something beneath what we perceive on the surface. We just aren’t always given the opportunity to see what it is.
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