September 6, 2018


Silver + Light:
An exhibit by Susan Bryant


Susan Bryant was born and raised in Terre Haute, Ind. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in Painting from Indiana University and a Master of Fine Arts in Photography from Indiana State University. She is a Professor of Art at Austin Peay State University in Clarksville, Tenn., where she has taught photography for the past 36 years.

Bryant’s artwork has been included in over 100 (selected) juried and invitational group exhibits and 28 (selected) solo exhibits across the United States. She is the recipient of a Tennessee Arts Commission Fellowship in photography. She is the recipient of a Kodak award for photographic educators through the Santa Fe Photographic workshop. She is the recipient of the Ovation Award for Individual Artist from the Center for Excellence in Creative Arts in Clarksville, Tenn. She has been awarded over 20 faculty research grants through Austin Peay State University. She is the recipient of two fellowship at the Hambidge Center Artist Residency (2016 & 2017) and three residencies at A.I.R. Studio Paducah (2015, 2016, 2018).

About Silver + Light

The artist states, “The photographic images in this exhibit represent photographs on paper as well as objects that I’ve been working on for the past 8 years. I began using the wet-plate collodion process in 2010, making tintypes, ambrotypes, silver gelatin prints from glass negatives and digital prints from scans of glass and metal plates. Learning and using this process has been both extremely challenging and rewarding. Although the technical aspect of using collodian is an ongoing learning process, I remind myself that it’s simply the combination of silver and light (plus chemistry).”

Bryant continues, “Invented in 1851, the collodion process requires that a darkroom be close to the camera where exposure occurs. My backyard is outside my basement door and darkroom. In the beginning of this body of work, my backyard became my studio. Using both a 4” x 5” and 8” x 10” camera, I composed and captured still-lifes, portraits and images of our garden. The exhibits, ‘Close to Home’ and ‘Presence & Absence’ came from my backyard studio.”

“During a trip to Italy 4 years ago, I chose to photograph hands of sculptures found in museums and churches. This formed the series, “Italian Gestures.” After returning home, I used my digital files to make collodion tintypes in my darkroom. This process allows me to integrate this historical 19th century process with 21st century digital technology.”

“My most recent work explores the Southern Landscape of Tennessee, Kentucky, Georgia, Mississippi, Florida and South Carolina. For this work I have also used the hybrid process of using both digital and collodion to create the final plates and prints.”