I’ve been following Susan Kae Grant’s work for several years and am still in awe of it. For some reason, I just assumed that the tableaux that she creates were paper cut-outs meticulously staged and then photographed. Turns out I couldn’t be more wrong about her process—these are life size tableaux that are meticulously staged and photographed. Take a look at this video and her process:
Direct link to the Night Journey video here.
What is even more interesting is that she has spent many nights in a sleep center and had the staff wake her from REM sleep, then she records her dreams. This is what provides the material for her work. I have some issues with insomnia and undertook a sleep study many years ago. For me, being repeatedly woken up during REM sleep was an extremely agitating experience, making me all that more impressed at Kae Grant’s dedication to her art.
Please take some time and take a look at her gallery of images here. I just can’t emphasize enough how gorgeous I find these images: The swirling backgrounds, the pools of light, and the jet-black subjects—it is a form of photography that that has human depth—it combines the psyche with the beautiful. I find the term ethereal is often excessively used, so I decided to dig into the dictionary and to really understand the definition of the word. This is one definition I found:
Extremely delicate and light in a way that seems too perfect for this world.
I’m not sure I could find a better description.