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New Canaan Library

Disenfranchised: Hysterics of the 1940s

Artwork by Su Tamsett. On display November 7 - December 14, 2014

The theme that runs through all my work, the idea which intrigues me most, is the passage of time and the resultant effects that the events incurred during that passage have on people and places.

Much of the body of my work over the past ten years has been devoted to very small-scale, highly detailed architectural prints of places I have visited in Africa, primarily of a Moroccan medina (the non-European part of Northern African city) located on the Atlantic shore. The medina in Morocco was built over several centuries. During the 20th century, the tightly packed residences were overlaid with a network of electrical wiring that knits them together. The rooftops, once the domain of servants, are now filled with antennae and satellite dishes and have become party venues for the art and literature intelligentsia of Europe. As late as 2001, phones were limited to “tele-boutiques” where clients rented phone booth time, but the town is now surrounded by cellular towers.

More recently, I have worked on a series of prints taken from my window in Amtrak trains traveling between points in Eastern and Midwestern United States, often in sequences taken seconds apart. The photographs from the train are taken year after year, often of the same locations, sometimes showing incremental changes over time and always bearing evidence of the evolution of industry and how it has shaped communities along the routes.

Disenfranchised: Hysterics of the 1940s