July 22 – August 13, 2022 | Opening Friday, July 22, 5 – 7 pm
Artist Talk Saturday, August 6, 2:30 – 3:30 pm
OPEN HOUSE: Wednesday, August 10, 5:30 – 7:30pm
Photography by Susan Lapides
In the rural fishing community of St. George, New Brunswick, Canada, the daily routine revolves around twenty-six-foot tides and biannual lobster harvests. Each season begins with the ritual of extended families gathering on the wharf in the frigid pre-dawn. Excitement, laughter, and chatter fill the moments before one last hug with their loved ones and repeated pleas to “be careful,” as lobster fishing is a dangerous profession. Finally, a horn announces the 6 am rush to drop the traps into the depths.
One day in 2006, a friend, who is a local fisherman, arrived unannounced at our door bearing a box brimming with live lobsters. Soon after I found my daughters and nieces sincerely engaged in a scientific exploration, “hypnotizing the lobsters.” I clearly recall this moment, as it inspired me to make a photograph of each of them holding “their” lobster with the seascape beyond. It became an annual event and the seed for Sea Change, which I began nine years later and expanded to include girls who live in our community.
Over 6 years, I have assembled sixty-five photographs of seventeen girls with two to six portraits of each. The photographs in Sea Change underscore the importance of girls and women in this community and beyond.
This series recalls historical and social media pictures of fishermen holding up their “Big Catch.” In Sea Change, I hope to reveal something of each girl’s character as she takes stock of and poses with a lobster, the symbol of her community. Some are cautious while some are proud, and still, others are nonchalant.
Capturing how each girl responds to the influences of her family, local culture, community, and more broadly society, I explore female identity and how it evolves. Collectively the photographs in Sea Change illustrate the dramatic transformation from girlhood to adolescence to womanhood.
Susan Lapides is a photographic artist who creates time-based projects focusing on adolescence and place. Through her portraits and landscapes, she examines social, cultural and community issues. Lapides earned her BA in Art History from Tufts University and the School of the Museum of Fine Arts. She had an extensive career as a professional editorial photographer working for national publications. She photographed President Barack Obama, then the first African American editor of the Harvard Law Review and Rose Kennedy on her 91st birthday. The most life-changing assignment was meeting her future husband while photographing for People Magazine.
Lapides exhibits her fine art photography nationally and internationally. Sea Change will premiere at Sunbury Shores Art Center in Canada in 2022. St. George: Ebb and Flow exhibitions were presented at the Griffin Museum (Winchester, MA), Sunbury Shores and the Saint John Arts Centre (Canada). Her awards include the 2019 Critical Mass Finalist and the Beth Block Juried Membership Honoraria from the Houston Center for Photography. Lapides was invited to participate in “Outspoken, Extended,” an invitational exhibit of nine women photographers. In addition, her photographs are often included in juried exhibitions. Her photographs are held in the permanent collection of the Fidelity Corporations and Cooke Aquaculture as well as in many private collections. She resides in Boston, Massachusetts, USA and in St. George, New Brunswick, Canada.