July 6 – September 1, 2017
Artist: Susan Lapides
In 2006, I began photographing my daughters and nieces with lobsters before we ate them for dinner. Lobsters are quite abundant in St. George, a small fishing town on the Bay of Fundy in New Brunswick, Canada, where we spend our summers, so lobster became just another meal and an adventure for my girls. They would always sit on the deck caressing the lobsters’ shells, trying to make them go to “sleep.”
What struck me was how differently each girl responded to the lobster. Some cradled it, some squirmed with their shoulders held tight, some raised it over their head as if to say: “this is just how one holds a lobster”.
Historically, there is a genre of photographic portraits of fishermen poising with their “Big Catch”, which symbolizes their masculinity. In my portraits the lobsters hold a metaphorical weight that shows how the girls engage with this weird alien creature in a way that reflects their personality.
There are many hidden layers and emotions in this improbable juxtaposition of a young girl and a lobster. There is nothing dainty or girly about holding a lobster, yet some of the girls make it so. My photographs show how these young women both defy and meet the expectations placed on them. The images also reveal the power dynamics between the girls and these creatures, which, although seemingly dangerous, will become dinner.
The photographs of Susan Lapides focus on people, culture, and place. The rugged landscape of the Bay of Fundy has inspired her three current bodies of work. They are St. George, Crustaceans, and “turq,” A Meditation.
A fine art photographer with a strong background in editorial photography, Lapides has exhibited her work widely, including solo exhibitions at Fidelity Investments (Boston), the Griffin Museum of Photography and the Saint John Art Centre in New Brunswick, Canada. Her fine art work is held in corporations and private collections throughout the United States, Canada, and France. Her editorial images have appeared in Life, Smithsonian, and many other national periodicals. Lapides graduated from Tufts University and the Museum of Fine Arts School. She resides in Boston and visits New Brunswick, Canada as often as she can.
susan at susanlapides dot com