Susie is a photographer whose focus captures the wisdom, inner beauty, aging, wrinkles, life experience and resilience of @women.60.plus (her instagram handle). “What’s next?” is the theme we are exploring for Alembika’s Fall-Winter 2022 launch and Susie illuminates her thoughts with us here.
What is the very first thing that pops into your mind when you hear the question “What’s next?”
EKE!!! BUT, since you asked—I was awake last night on my 65th birthday, pondering life and looking back over the past 5 years, the time I began concentrating on an often underserved and under-recognized group of people in this Western Culture: @women.60.plus.
Continuing this work is of the greatest importance to me—it is paramount. The breakdown of this important and continuing work goes deep within me. In speaking for myself, it is my hope that my words will resonate—and these are simply what I feel at this moment. In acknowledging, that I felt and was INVISIBLE to myself when I began my work in 2017, I like to think that I’ve made great strides in personal understanding since then! BRAVA to me!! I have a long way to go, but in the small steps toward my own awareness, I am beginning to see, hear and experience a great difference in the way I approach my life and my work.
“What’s next” continues the conversations about how, whether it be simply talking, or taking photos of women, this often intimate and sensitive work takes time—different times for each. I can ONLY attempt this deep personal learning and understanding work, when I am ready to explore the “who I am”, deep within. And only when I feel safe enough, trusting enough and supported enough.
“What’s next” is my psychological and photographic continuation and commitment to the “Art of Connection” with women over 60. The more I work, the more professionally intimate my work has become. To continue my photographic work and to continue to be present with myself in the here and now, has enabled magical experiences to emerge. Often a lonely place to be, this work has been my best in my relationships with other extraordinary women who have often felt similarly, as well—wanting to connect to themselves. I continue to learn to trust, surrender, acknowledge and accept that I am aging—there are things that I love and there are things that I don’t love at this point in my aging self/body. It’s been a huge mental, emotional, physical and spiritual shift. My work has been cathartic for myself and I imagine for others. Through my photographic work it is my hope that I can enable older women to see, acknowledge, be aware of, accept and understand themselves—their inner essence, their personal power. How liberating this has the greatest potential of being. It has proven to be way beyond my expectations!
Is there a specific career goal, creative endeavor or travel plan that you may embark upon in the coming months or year?
My career goal is to use my photographic skills and art to explore the depths of who I am. Often in both of my fields (Photography and Counseling Therapy) the “end result” for my work is deeper understanding for the people I am connected with. It goes without saying that in providing space for these opportunities, I grow in this too. Travel plans are limited—COVID hit hard and challenged my frequency of travel. But, it will not stop me! I am planning a trip to Arizona in the Fall. Following my mother’s death in February 2022, I plan to travel back to Australia to spread her ashes with my family members on the property/farm where we grew up. Wherever I go—I will always have my camera attached to me—the spontaneous
creative experiences always emerge!
What do you envision yourself doing at this time next year?
I don’t know, but I imagine I’ll be celebrating another birthday in July if I maintain a healthy lifestyle. I deeply trust that I will have more life experiences under my belt that I may be able to answer your questions in a different way. After much encouragement from many, I am beginning to work on a W60+ book. It is with huge hesitation that I put this statement out there—because the thought of this is overwhelming to me! I am working with a very special woman on this. More to be revealed!