Once, some years ago, a friend and I were talking.  I told her that I have never felt myself to identify completely with one ethnic lineage, being Danish, Norwegian, German, English and Swiss, in other words, an American “mutt”.  At the time, I felt a need to belong somewhere.  My friend, who happened to be a therapist by trade, asked me if I feel at home almost anywhere.  I answered that actually, I do feel at home wherever I might be.  She pronounced me a Citizen of the World (un citoyen du monde), and I immediately felt better.  If indeed I am a citizen of wherever I am at the moment, it would explain why I have a continued love affair with travel, particularly travel accompanied by photographic equipment. 

Not being one to pursue classic scenes or famous vistas, I like to think of my work as postcards from my internal dialogue, souvenirs of moments I have shared with only my camera.  Photographers are a solitary lot in general, preferring to create in silence and seclusion, and I am no exception.  We all know the feeling of traipsing along with tired feet, aching shoulders, and a Mona Lisa smile on our face, knowing that within the camera weighing down our shoulders there is magic - that the things we have seen have been captured and our own personal vision can be shared with others, once we get back to home base and start printing.

I am what I see. I am what I photograph.  I invite you to travel with me as you study these images; to go where I went and see what I saw.  Friedrich Nietzsche said  “The essence of all beautiful art, all great art, is gratitude.”  I do not imply that these images are great art, or even beautiful art, but I do know that I am constantly grateful for the opportunity to see things as I do, and to make images that allow me to share what I have seen with anyone who wants to look.

Susan Aurinko

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