The eye sees what the heart feels. A quiet, meditative, intuitive photographer, I am drawn to the overlooked and often unnoticed, the fragile details contained in the ordinary. Imagist poet William Carlos Williams may be my greatest artistic inspiration, especially his poem The Red Wheelbarrow. It begins “so much depends upon” followed by a word photograph of “a red wheel barrow glazed with rain water beside the white chickens.” Direct and sparingly descriptive, the poem allows the reader their own emotional experience. My process, when photographing, is to walk around, slowly, led by my camera lens and instincts and stop only when I feel the “so much depends upon” moment. Which is when I click the shutter. Although unadorned, my photos tend to generate feelings of space, silence and solitude. The earliest image in this group was made in 2005; the latest was made last month. Yes, the eye sees what the heart feels.

 

BIO: A visual poet, Susan May Tell has been an artist-in-residence at MacDowell, Yaddo and the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts. MacDowell honored her as the Evelyn Stefansson Nef Fellow for 2015-2016. The Smithsonian Museum collected her work as part of its Samuel Wagstaff Papers. Columbia University obtained her Oral History and Catalog of Works. Tell’s current solo exhibition, September – December 2021, is at the Schumacher Gallery, Capital University. Previous solo exhibitions include the Griffin Museum of Photography, Museum of Art | Fort Lauderdale (now the NSU Art Museum Fort Lauderdale), Gorilla Art Show at the Avenue B Gallery and the University of California / San Francisco. Scores of brickand-mortar galleries coast to coast exhibit her work, most recently at SlowExposures 2021 in Georgia and, through December 2021, at PhotoPlace Gallery in Vermont. Elizabeth Avedon included her work in “fossils of time + light” — a book she curated and designed for the Detroit Center for Contemporary Photography. Tell also had a celebrated 25-year career as a photojournalist, working for pre-eminent publications such as the New York Times, Time and LIFE Magazines. She spent a decade overseas, based in Cairo and Paris. Her stories included the women fighters of the Eritrean People’s Liberation Front, Iran-Iraq war, NBA Finals, actors, politicians, and more. After an amazing decade as a staff photographer and photo editor for her hometown, in-yourface, newspaper, the New York Post, she was inexorably and irresistibly drawn back to focusing on her personal work. More of her work can be seen at susanmaytell.com

Contact: susanmaytell.com susan at susanmaytell dot com

Equipment: All images were taken with digital cameras. The earliest ones: professional Canon DSLR using both fixed and zoom lenses. The middle ones: Olympus XZ-1. The latest ones: SONY, RX100 series, first the II, then the VA.