American artist Suzanne Williamson grew up in the Northeast, exploring the woods with her mother’s camera. She makes photographs and installations focusing on history, place, and memory. Working primarily in the landscape, she creates works that illuminate the layers of beauty and pain embedded in places over time.
Williamson has exhibited nationally in solo and group exhibitions in museums and galleries, including at the Appleton Museum in Ocala, where her photographic installation with writer John Capouya was mounted in 2018. This installation, Shadow & Reflection: Visions of Florida’s Sacred Landscapes, was first realized in 2011, at the Morean Arts Center in St. Petersburg. The work re-envisions Florida’s sacred and ceremonial Indian mounds with respect and appreciation for their histories.
Williamson has received fellowships to the pre-eminent artist retreats, MacDowell and Yaddo, serving on the Board of MacDowell when president of the Fellows Committee. She was also awarded Florida Creative Capital workshops.
Suzanne’s photographs are in a number of museum and private collections, including the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston and the Bibliothèque Nationale, Paris. Her portraits of “soul survivor” musicians were published in John Capouya’s book, Florida Soul (University of Florida Press, 2017). In 2019 she was awarded a Hillsborough County, Florida, Artist Development Grant. Her work has been featured in such publications as Arts, ARTnews, Bomb, Harpers, Ohio Magazine, Texas Monthly, and the Tampa Bay Times.
Williamson studied anthropology and photography at SUNY, College at Purchase, and photography at International Center of Photography (ICP). When working as an artist in New York City, she was the Photo Editor of ARTnews magazine, directed photography galleries, and managed a private collection of contemporary photography.
In 2001, she joined a collective that launched a photographic exhibition of the events and response to 9/11, first in New York City, and then around the country. The show, Here is New York: A Democracy of Photographs, was installed in downtown Soho, then traveled within the United States and overseas for several years. After moving to Tampa, Williamson photographed throughout the state, later joining the Curatorial Department at the Tampa Museum of Art and providing PR for individual clients. She is currently working full time on her art and participating in the formation of “Artist Chats,” a group for artists—visual, literary, and performing—to share their personal practice & explore socio-political concerns in art.
Artist Statements for Sunstrips and Sunlit
Tracing the shoreline in the hours before and at sunrise, I photograph as color shifts from night into day. I stack my images vertically so they may unfurl in an open narrative of light and materiality—like strips of film or images coming before sleep.
My Sunlit series intensifies the glowing presence of light at sunrise by creating new juxtapositions of figure and ground. Reaching into individual works in the Sunstrips series, I pull out sections from the images, arriving at works that are abstract and distinct—although linked—to their origin.