THE ORCHARD is the photographic study, created in an abstract manner, of an apple orchard in Vermont. Photographed over a two-year period, 2020-2022, through all seasons, the images reveal seasonal changes as well as evoke emotional states of the artist and the greater population during a difficult period of time that everyone was experiencing in those years. Photographed with a Mint InstantKon RF70 camera, the images were created in camera and vary in abstraction, multiple exposure, different focus lengths, and changes in color palette. The wide variety of imagery speaks to the many moments of the pandemic cycle and allows the viewer to ponder those complex times and reflect on the feelings expressed such as grief, loss renewal, and hope, as portrayed by the changes of season and annual cycle of the trees.
A few of the images from The Orchard
Artist Statement of Influences
The project follows in the great tradition of both landscape and polaroid photographers, and their work offered inspiration for what I was photographing. Lucas Samaras and David Hockney for the sequencing of images; Andy Warhol’s early polaroid images which included multiple exposures and overexposures; Andrei Tarkovsky and his use of light; Sibylle Bergemann for her love of spontaneity of the instant camera, and Walker Evans’ composition. Landscape photographers who captured the moody landscape that were influencers were Sally Mann, Michael Kenna, Paul Strand, Lee Friedlander, Josef Sudek, and most recently Lynn Geesaman.
From the Essay by Eve O. Schaub
“The imagery and palette in The Orchard evoke for the viewer concentrated meditations on the natural cycle: life, death, and rebirth, and the associated emotions of joy, grief, and hope. Even in the grips of a deathly winter, there appears a path in the snow signifying the continuation of life. Trees at night appear as cloud-like apparitions from a dream. A solitary trunk stands like a headstone. Riots of color pinpoints cluster like fireworks in one moment, while in another they soften shyly into powder puffs. Abstracted branches slice through mottled skies.”
Advance Praise for The Orchard
“The images in Susan Weiss’ The Orchard are unlike any we’ve ever seen. Full of color, swirl, blur, and emotion, they sweep us up into the orchard’s life over the four seasons and connect it to our own desires and dreams. This is a complex, serious, and intelligent body of work. The fractured, multilayered, abstract images require time to absorb and multiple views to understand all that they mean and are saying. Susan’s art transforms reality into something new and contemplative, just what art is supposed to do.”
—Harvey Stein, photographer and educator, International Center of Photography (ICP) and Los Angeles Center of Photography (LACP)
About the Artist
Susan Weiss works in the visual arts in various mediums including painting and drawing, photography, graphics, and video. She is both a working artist and an art educator.
Susan’s work explores the issues of identity and the social landscape of contemporary culture. Her documentary work has explored the lives of military families during a deployment, and the refugee crisis in Lesbos and Berlin. Her long-term project, “Humanity in the Modern World” documents humanitarian and NGO work in other countries. The work for these projects includes photography, written articles, speaking engagements, and interviews. Her teaching experience includes working both in live classes and via Zoom on fine art subjects including drawing and painting. She also advises art students on preparing their portfolios and preparation for interviews for school applications.
Susan is currently working on several projects that are in various stages of completion: “Kilt Envy” is a personal story of finding possible relatives in a kilt shop in Scotland, “Lia Taylor Chronicles” follows a female bodybuilder to a professional tournament, and “Thimble Spell” is a photographed manga-style novella aimed at the teen readers’ market. She holds a BA from the University of Michigan, an MA from Mills College, and an MFA from the San Francisco Art Institute. In addition, she holds a Certificate in Visual Storytelling – ICP/International Center of Photography, New York City. Susan lives in San Francisco and Vermont.
About the Contributor / Book Essay
Eve O. Schaub is an internationally published author and humorist. The author of Year of No Sugar (2014) and Year of No Clutter (2017); her third family memoir is Year of No Garbage (April 22 Earth Day, 2023). She has been featured on The Dr. Oz Show, Fox & Friends, USA Today, and The Huffington Post among others. Her essay “Our Year of No Sugar: One Family’s Grand Adventure” for Everyday Health has been viewed over a million times. Her books have been translated into Chinese, Hebrew, and Spanish, and her writing has additionally appeared in Newsweek, the Boston Globe, Hyperallergic, Bustle, The Belladonna Comedy, Vermont Magazine, and Vermont Life. She holds a BA and BFA from Cornell University and an MFA from the Rochester Institute of Technology. Eve lives with her family in Vermont and enjoys performing experiments on them so she can write about it.
Printing at Stinehour Press, limited edition
Trim Size: 7 x 9.5
Page Count: 50 Plates; 120 pages
Price: $35 (CA $47)
Publication Date: OCTOBER 2024
Distributor: IPG/Chicago, Ingram.
Rights sold: All rights available.
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