Susan Hayre: Querencia
May 24—Aug 2 2013
In the spring of 2011, a vast outbreak of wildfires consumed large swaths of terrain in the southwestern United States. A branch of these fires destroyed a portion of the pastureland owned by Susan Hayre's parents. In a matter of days, the Texas ranch land on which they base their livelihood was devastated. The fire ravaged the grasses and soil, burned down to the limestone bedrock, destroyed fences and killed animals before it was extinguished within sight of the family home. This was the second time in two years that the land was overtaken by natural forces. Sections of the now-blackened ranch were previously inundated with a 100-year flood that uprooted trees and turned the dry riverbeds of the canyonlands into violent torrents that tore out soil, fences and even some of the state ranch roads in the region. "Querencia," an old Spanish word referring to the place from which one draws ones deepest sense of self, is Hayre’s document of the scorched and flooded aftermath. Working with film, her work references the traditions of photographic practice and the rich history of western landscape photography, the vast majority of which was created using film and photographic paper. Her black and white gelatin silver prints bespeak a message of respect for the land, the trials of living with nature in Texas, an environment that is as harsh as it is beautiful. Her images are details, paying attention to the land as only a steward can, with the reality of nature as it is, and yet optimistically dedicated to the land’s health and ability to heal.
Hayre holds a BFA in Theater from Texas Christian University and an MFA in Photography from the University of Hartford in Connecticut. Recent group exhibitions include those at 25CPW Gallery, N.Y.; Künstlerhaus Bethanien, Berlin, Germany; RAYKO, San Francisco; Hammond Arts Center, Hammond, La.; Center for Fine Art Photography, Fort Collins, Colo.; New Mexico Museum of Art; Project Basho, Philadelphia; the Camera Club of New York; the Houston Center for Photography 27th Annual Juried Exhibition; Portland Museum of Art 2009 Biennial, Portland, Maine; and American Photography 24. Her work is included in the collections of the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; New Mexico Museum of Art, Santa Fe; Portland Museum of Art, Portland, Maine; the University of Texas, Dallas; Marilyn and Jerry Comer Collection, Palace of the Governors, Santa Fe; Centro Fotografico Alvarez Bravo, Oaxaca, Mexico; Rockport College, Rockport, Maine; as well as in numerous private and corporate collections. Hayre has taught at the Santa Fe Photographic Workshops; Maine Media Workshops, Rockport, Maine; the Houston Center for Photography; the Nord photography workshops, Oslo, Norway; as well as in various colleges as adjunct or visiting faculty. Her work has been featured recently in publications including PDN online, Fraction Magazine #12 and Shots magazine.
Gallery 1401 is located on the 14th floor of Terra Hall (211 S. Broad St.) at the University of the Arts, and offers a year-round regular schedule of exhibitions of contemporary photography. This exhibition is concurrent with "Phil Underdown: The Trapper's Lament" in the Sol Mednick Gallery (Gallery 1401's sister space) on the 15th floor of Terra Hall. The UArts Photography program operates both galleries.
Above image © 2013 Susan Hayre.Terra Hall
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