Tag Archives: Susan Lipper

Research Point 2

The brief:

Do your own research into areas you’ve been inspired by in this project; delve deeper into the areas that interest you. Continue to think about how this might inform your own practice.

I have to admit I am not a particular fan of still life photography and I would have to clarify that I’m talking about a staged/table top arrangement, be it rhopography, xenion or the meal on the table type of photography. I am however, drawn to found objects or arrangements that happen “naturally” for example Nigel Shafran’s Washing Up series, Richard Wentworth and Elliott Wilcox’s works, as well as that of Susan Lipper. I probably chime best of all with Wentworth’s work.

Blue warehouse – alley view by Lynda Kuit (2017)

I have over the past few years discovered that I do have a strange fascination for alleys and can see myself exploring this area in more depth when I do the landscape module. The objects, signs and colours that can be found in alleys are in a world of their own and totally different to what is on view to the general public from the road. The dilapidated fences, overgrown vegetation, moss covered roofs and discarded objects placed in the alley provide such interesting narratives. I did do a brief exploration into some alleys at the start of this module in the Square Mile exercise.

Gallery steps by Lynda Kuit, 2017

Julia Nathanson (a Canadian photographer) also is quite fascinated by laneways/alleys and I can really relate to her images because we are in the same country. The similarities to what she sees on the eastern side of the country to what I see on the western side are very prevalent. Her In the Lanes project can be seen here featured on LensCulture.  Another photographer photographing the back end of properties is Mariko Hino, a Japanese photographer, also featured on LensCulture. I’ll do a more in-depth write up on these two artists when I return from vacation.



Susan Lipper and Penny Klepuszewska

Susan Lipper’s series Bed & Breakfast, 1998 was a commission for  PhotoWorks’ Country Life which was a project initiated by Val Williams in 1995 where artists would take as their reference point the photographs made by West Sussex photographer, George Garland (1920s to 1960s). Garland’s photographs were images of Sussex country life – weddings, fêtes, political rallies and so on. His photographs were representative of a calmer way of life, away from the frantic hustle and bustle of modern city life.

Lipper is an American artist and as such her views are those of the outsider, focusing on the small details of items encountered that strike a disharmonious chord with her while staying at various Bed & Breakfast residences.

Lipper’s small details and fragments of events and scenes remain disconnected as though part of some indecipherable language or ritual.

David Chandler

From Bed & Breakfast series by Susan Lipper, 1998

There is a strange mix of items in the image above: the bone handle knife (which takes me back to my childhood – my mother had a cutlery set very similar), the Chinese patterned side plate juxtaposed to the wavy plastic apricot table mats atop two linen table clothes and mix of other stainless steel cutlery, the crinkly paper serviette and the little basket of jam and butter. The place setting has been quickly laid as evidenced by the position of the fork – the handle resting carelessly on the side plate. The items are very eclectic and there is a sense of discord: the exotic mingling with the everyday. The decorations in the rooms are floral and fussy, very reminiscent of the 60’s – all striving for the “olde world charm”.

For those people not familiar with English B&B’s, the images will definitely strike a chord of disharmony, but for those who grew up with them, or encountered them on their travels, the images constitute a sense of nostalgia, representing times long gone and bringing old memories to the forefront once again. Lipper’s account of Sussex is an entirely subjective one, as it represents her reaction to a certain way of life.

Hemmed in by petty-mindedness in peach, this testament to curtain twitching reverberates with tongue tutting and tradition-lite.

Jason Evans

In contrast Penny Klepuszewska’s series Living Arrangements documenting the home in old age is very focused and less ambiguous. All her images are shot against a black background rendering them very studio-like.  Her images all shout out loneliness, and isolation, from the single plate  with the residue of baked beans resting on the spoon, to the single plastic tumbler next to the wireless, to the single set of clasped hands on the table. There are no extraneous factors that can distract the viewer’s attention from the subject. We are forced to face up to the solitude emanating in this images and question our own lives, or that of our aged parents. Is this what we want for them (or us)?

Living Arrangements 06 – by Penny Klepuszewska


Reference List

Chandler, David (n.d.) Bed & Breakfast [onlne]. Susan Lipper. Available at: http://www.susanlipper.com/text_bb_chandler.html. [Accessed 27 June, 2017]

Evans, Jason (n.d.) no vacancies [online]. Susan Lipper. Available at: http://www.susanlipper.com/text_bb_evans.html. [Accessed 27 June, 2017]

The Sproxton Photography Award (2006). Penny Klepuszewska [online] Available at: http://www.sproxtonphotographyaward.org/winners/penny-klepuszewska/ [Accessed 27 June, 2017]