Photo by Rachel Karas, Kent State University 2021
Susanna Harris, based in Columbus, Ohio, is an artist working in print media, installation, and photography. Her work is situated at the intersection of resilience in environmental destruction, and through the human condition. She received her BA from Otterbein University, Westerville, Ohio, and her MFA from Kent State University, Kent, Ohio. She has received numerous awards, and funding for her work including an Artists: Individuals Fellowship, and an Artists in the Community Professional Development grant, from the Greater Columbus Arts Council as well as awards from Kent State University. She has been an artist in residence for The Otterbein University Post-Baccalaureate A.I.R, Westerville, Ohio; The Lancaster Festival A.I.R, Lancaster, Ohio; Zygote Press, Cleveland, Ohio; and Zea Mays Printmaking Residency, Florence, Massachusetts.
As I consider my personal, and collective experiences with loss, disease, and grief I create installations with print media to explore the interconnectedness of ecological destruction, human fragility, and resilience. I am interested in nature’s reclamation and the contextual parallels that has with rebirth after hardship. I look for moments in plants, fungi, and other botanical specimens to create magnified, imagined interpretations of the awe, and wonder they invoke. Fungus only grows after decay sets in leading to beautiful structures which facilitate energy’s transfer to new organisms. I use the materiality of paper altered through hand cutting, deeply embossing, and inking to create organic forms with color altered shadows. I start with photographs I take, and then designs are hand drawn and turned into digital line images. These are used to create the printing matrix. Each plate is used to transfer imagery onto paper which is then cut by hand. Each print is stacked together fluorescing onto the layer behind it creating an ominously unnatural glow. My light installations incorporate thin transparent paper in layers to both distort and draw attention to the cut prints and material underneath.