Fog Along the Concord River, 2019, Archival Pigment Print from scanned color negative, Courtesy of the Artist.
Hear from the Artist
Hello my name is Suzanne Révy and the photograph in the show is from a series called, A Murmur in the Trees.
The forest flutters between life, death, and rebirth. It bears witness as it has for centuries to the Earth’s delights and traumas. Trees feed each other through vast networks of roots that resemble the airways of human lungs. Canopy protects saplings who yearn for sunlight as the soil underfoot breeds microscopic nutrients. Sources of water rise and fall like the pulse and circulatory system, yet the eternal rhythms of the forest and the span of our lifetimes are eons apart.
With this work I seek to explore the distinctive cadences between human existence and the vast geological scope of the natural world. Since 2018 I have been experimenting with diptychs, triptychs, and polyptychs in my work. I find the multiple panel presentations create dialogue between space and form and imply passages of time. I scrutinize the meadows and rivers once home to the Indigenous peoples. I study the fields where the battles for Independence were fought, and wander in the footsteps of the Transendentalists through the woods and ponds of Concord, Massachusetts.
As a portrait photographer, turning to the land has proven fruitful. I find myself looking for figurative gestures in nature. I have discovered surprising patterns and details in the overlapping frames where leaves or rocks seem to echo with myth or memory. I wish to impart a tenor of solitude, to convey a reverence for the enduring ecosystems that surround us, and draw parallels between the cyclical seasons of nature and human history.
As to the specific picture in this show, it was one of the earliest from this series that I felt was successful. As I worked on it I realized it was a bit of a metaphor as a family portrait for my family. The tree on the right hand panel represents me. It has kind of a crazy patch of branches that remind me of my hair that sometimes has a mind of its own. The center tree is a dramatic tree just like my younger son. The tree in the left frame represents my older son who’s always been more stoic and a quieter person than his younger brother. And finally there’s a tree all the way to the left that represents my husband, who’s been a very solid presence in my life for many decades. When I discovered this metaphor for this picture I realized there are a lot of expressive possibilities by exploring the landscape.
Thank you so much for listening.