Growing up in Virginia, my childhood field trips were to cigarette factories and civil war battlegrounds, with a brown bag lunch in tow. As a young girl I could often be found holding a dixie cup full of Kool-Aid powder, with a few drops of water, making a sweet sugary paste for finger dipping. My childhood travels were spent wandering different neighborhoods on my Schwinn, and knocking on strangers' doors with those same sticky fingers. I can remember one such house, where I knocked on the door to ask if I could jump on the trampoline in the front yard. It was the Gibson Girls' trampoline, the descendants of Charles Dana Gibson, the famous illustrator. He drew the ideal woman of the early 1900's, coined the Gibson Girl. I became a constant bouncing fixture on their lawn.
Kudzu is now making it's way over my childhood home, covering the past like a blanket, and putting it to rest, as I look for the intimacy of "home" in other places. Following a southern road with the slow pace of a funeral march, this series takes me beyond the backyards and trails of my youth. It deals with the hospitality of strangers, and hits on a feeling that I have sometimes when taking portraits. The feeling that I was supposed to meet a particular person, or turn down a certain road. The title is taken from the old saying "American By Birth, Southern By The Grace Of God". The images are made up of the places, and characters, that I believe, I have found through a sort of divine intervention. They are strangers, that invite me into their homes, to sit awhile and hear their stories. Characters that are real, and not imagined by the literary greats of the south.
Susan Worsham was born in Richmond Virginia. She took her first photography class while studying graphic design in college. In 2009 Susan was nominated for the Santa Fe Prize For Photography, and her book ” Some Fox Trails In Virginia” won first runner up in the fine art category of the Blurb Photography Book Now International Competition. In 2010 Susan was awarded the first TMC / Kodak Film Grant, and was an artist in residence at Light Work in Syracuse, New York. Her work has been shown at the Corcoran Museum during FotoWeek D.C, LOOK3 Festival Of The Photograph, The Lishui Photo Festival in China, and most recently at the Danville Museum in Virginia. Susan was named one of PDN’s 30 Emerging Photographers To Watch in 2011, and was included in Photolucida's Critcal Mass Top 50.