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Artist Statement

J. Isabel Sutherland


My work is that of a photographic artist with an emotional response to life, rather than the more formal approach of a photographer. I find beauty and fascination in unexpected places. The ever changing play of light enthrals me. I am especially interested in transitional moments –where what I am photographing is not what it was, nor is it yet what it is becoming. To me, it is a modern miracle to capture a glimpse, a creative instant, that has never existed before and will never be the same again; yet once captured it has a new and different history from that of its original subject.

Many images are digitally designed to become part of my story telling through the installations, exhibitions and publications of my fantasy museum of which I am curator, assisted by my alter ego Alice Lawrie as photographer, and a range of other personalities.

Alice Lawrie at work

The Jonesonian Museum

The museum and its archive as carrier of memory for our society are central to my work. I am interested too in the shimmer of wonder that lies between truth that is stranger than fiction and the fiction that seems so wonderful it must be true.
Subversion and humour are used to critique the role of the science curator as doorkeeper controlling the collection. Preserving memory is the current theme of my spurious non-museumic collection of valueless objects, yet the items are not in themselves about memory, and a covert level of childhood memories lurks tantalisingly in many images.



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