My most recent body of work considers how psychological human experience parallels the rhythms of landscape and the natural world. Focusing on specifically on the desert and a temperate forest in winter, I explore the concept of having just enough and its effect on human mentality, both during and resulting from times of scarcity. Stories are a fundamental part of the work. Wall texts containing narratives function as an entrance point for the viewer. Using metaphor, simple grandeur, and ritual, this work provides an opportunity to inhabit the artwork through installation and photography. Photography encourages the viewer to imagine themselves within the landscape, and the installations are concrete places to experience that ask the viewer to wonder about the landscape from which it was born.

Aesthetically, my work has a reserved elegance that is simple, yet profound. I consider myself a storyteller, and narrative plays a significant role as the work features stories of nature, a traveler on a journey, and my own personal and family history. This invites viewers to reflect about their own narratives. I use installation and photography to draw parallels between the natural world and the intangible, psychological, rhythms of the human experience.

To view additional works by Susan Vander Kooi, follow this link: