Sue Palmer Stone: Embodiment: Salvaging A Self
Sue Palmer Stone is a photographer based in Connecticut. The photographs from her series EMBODIMENT: SALVAGING A SELF shed light on the artist’s current state of physical stability and instability stemming from an autoimmune condition. In these photographs, found objects are entangled, wrapped, bound and enveloped, creating a sense of tension that hovers between deterioration and determination. Palmer Stone explains: “Ultimately, in these spaces, I’m looking for what can be salvaged, reclaimed — what will endure. The quest for answers will continue, but my art reminds me that instead of focusing on the search for certainty, sometimes it’s best to just keep going, doing, and making.”
This series represents a search for a new kind of “utility” after life has had its way with us. I took to my art over the last couple years to capture my struggle with a newly diagnosed autoimmune condition that threatens my physical health and mobility. (It also bears noting that in my early 40s I had to have a couple titanium joint replacements.) I use this personal experience, and the cast-off items I find and collect in gritty spaces that I explore, to create images that incorporate sculptural objects I make, found objects, a little bit of both, and self-portraits — all in some way about standing up, standing tall (I’m 5’10”) and holding it all together, literally (glue, pins, tape, staples…) and figuratively. Throughout, there’s a question of solidity, and underlying fragility, that is an especially urgent theme to me.
A Connecticut native (b.1961), Stone earned her B.A. from Colby College and M.A. in French from NYU. Since 2012, she has been a participant in the photography workshops of Sandi Haber Fifield in CT and NYC. Stone pays tribute to imperfection and impermanence through her practice that includes driving around Connecticut, or various travel destinations, trawling for things to capture in neglected or beat-up spaces that most would rather not bother to explore. From these, she often hauls items to different sites or back to her studio to work with them sculpturally and again photographically.
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