Verge Collective member Susan Swihart

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Baby Girls copyright by Susan Swihart.
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Cold copyright by Susan Swihart.
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Entangled copyright by Susan Swihart.
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Hands up copyright by Susan Swihart.
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Listen copyright by Susan Swihart.

 

As you know, I’ve been highlighting members of the Los Angeles, CA based group of photographers known as The Verge Collective.

Today I want to introduce you to member Susan Swihart. Susan grew up in Newton, Massachusetts which is about 7 miles from Boston. She studied visual and media design at Northeastern University in Boston. There she also took some photography classes.

When Susan was 19 she spent the summer in Italy painting and making photographs. She says that this is where she fell in love with photography. After Italy and college she made a career in advertising. She became serious about her photography about 3 years ago.

Susan has photos from her project called “About Face” at the Duncan Miller Gallery on Venice Blvd. in Los Angeles. That is where I met her. Here is what Susan says about this project.

Sometimes two people start as one. They split apart, but continue to grow in parallel day by day, inch by inch. They develop separately and distinctly. They have different dreams and fears. Yet, to many, they will always look the same. Be interchangeable. Be treated as if they’re still one. 

As the mother of twin daughters, I have been observing the phenomenon of their connectedness since birth. As a photographer and participant observer in their lives, I have set out to explore the psychological components, the similarities and differences, of my daughter’s union. Their realization that they are seen as one causes many different emotions. At times, they too will see themselves as a unit, but they will also wrestle with finding their own voice, identity and place. They pull, push and compete. Occasionally one pushes ahead and grows faster than the other. One is left behind, until it’s their turn to squeeze by. Most other times they cling to the comfort of one another. The comfort in same face confusion. An ally to hide with from the fame of their twinness. 

It is a complex, but pure love for the person that was created at the same time. Head to toe in the womb. Side by side in life. And I want to be their witness and chronicle their unique journey into the world of individuals. 

 

By Jim McKinniss

 

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