Susannah Hays uses photography to illuminate the complex structures of simple things—a leaf, a bottle, a shadow on the ground She brings to light delicate networks of line, hidden geometrical patterns, strange blind spots, and unexpected flashes of brilliance that can’t be seen with the naked eye, thereby connecting the realms of the mundane and the infinite. But Hays’ photographs also stage an inquiry into the nature of photography itself—its mutual dependence on light and darkness, optics and chemistry, science and art. In this regard, her vision is as much alchemical as perceptual: a single leaf becomes a map to a forgotten city, a city sidewalk becomes a fallen sky.
Hays received her MFA in photography from the San Francisco Art Institute. She was awarded the Eisner Prize in Photography at UC Berkeley and is currently completing her thesis, “Between Cedar & Vine,” in Visual Studies at the College of Environmental Design.