Susan Rochester

Susan Rochester is an Oregon artist who works primarily with photography (both analog and digital) and book arts. Scientific inquiry and exploration of the natural world inform her projects, as does her interest in shifting boundaries between humans and the wild.

Her dream-like photographs feature things gleaned from forest floors and desert arroyos. These images challenge viewers to decide whether the subjects are alive or dead. Inspiration for these images comes from the formalism of still life traditions, flavored with a darker interpretation of folk tales and fables in which animals are anthropomorphized.

Rochester has lived in the rural west for her entire life, with ready access to deserts, forests, mountains, rivers, and the Pacific Ocean. From earliest childhood, she's had an affinity for animals, whether pets, strays, wild, or museum specimens. This has led to a life-long study of natural science, navigated thorough the lenses of cameras and the pages of sketchbooks.