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“I could not prove the Years had feet
Yet confident they run
Am I, from symptoms that are past
And Series that are done
I find my feet have further Goals
I smile upon the Aims
That felt so ample—Yesterday
Today’s—have vaster claims
I do not doubt the self I was
Was competent to me
But something awkward in the fit
Proves that—outgrown—I see”
by Emily Dickinson
Don’t these words resonate well at the start of a new year? All the more so since photographer Suzanne Revy has applied the first line of Dickinson’s sage poem to her newest body of work, now showing at the New Hampshire Institute of Art Low Residency MFA Exhibition in Manchester, NH through January 26, 2016.
Suzanne Revy’s intimate portraiture occupies the sensitive and sometimes controversial realm of family photography popularized (some would say sensationalized) by those such as Sally Mann and Tina Barney. Like them, she offers viewers the somewhat more rarified photographic “female gaze” and, beyond that, a distinctly maternal gaze with its heavy freight of searing passion, unabashed wonder and intense ambivalence. Over the last decade or so, Revy’s discerning eye has captured sometimes charged, other times wistful, moments in the lives of her two sons and led rather organically to I Could Not Prove the Years Had Feet, in which she bears witness to her boys grappling with the famously rocky transition to adulthood. The recent inclusion of her sons’ most significant role model, her husband, into her photographs has the added dimensionality of reflecting her own parental feelings. Quiet and pensive, Revy’s stirring images suggest much below the surface.
Of this series, Revy writes: “My teenage boys seem to have gone into their rooms, and I’m not sure they’ll be coming out until they leave for college. As a parent, I have witnessed each chapter in their lives and have created a visual diary of photographs showing their creative and imaginative play, their explorations in the woods behind the house, trips to local pools or amusement parks, and—more recently, their interior spaces, messes and technologies. They are hurtling toward an emotional departure from childhood at an alarming pace, and each chapter of their lives has proven to be fleeting and ephemeral. My photographs feel like traces of the peril and poignance in the day to day life of two growing boys.”
Suzanne Revy’s work is being shown through January 26, 2016 as part of the New Hampshire Institute of Art Low Residency MFA Exhibition, Williams Gallery, 77 Amherst Street in Manchester, New Hampshire. There will be an opening reception this Saturday, January 9th at 6:00pm.
To see more of Suzanne’s work, go to: http://www.suzannerevy.com/
Feature Image: “Window, 2015” (Detail) from the series I Could Not Prove the Years Had Feet by Suzanne Revy (courtesy of the artist and Panopticon Gallery, Boston).