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Susan Duca

Newport United States, Gangi Italia
since 2007

Cutouts of Nature: Signs of Human Presence

Susan's visits are now season-long and have been repeated since the beginning of our history. Sometimes they are short stays, just to recharge her batteries, other times she has made longer residencies in which she has always been an active resource for the association.

Through her camera, her eye discovers the Palmerino and its surroundings behind the scenes, between the folds of the fabric less apparent but present to the sensitive eye. Susan looks for the traces of the daily work of man and nature, the points where these 'moments' intersect or where human neglect becomes a resource for nature to go further.

Joking during the exhibition of one of her collections dedicated to the Palmerino, we said to her: everything we try to hide in the corners, the disorder that we still haven't managed to solve, you find and show it off... you really are a dear friend! Susan laughed with her wonderful and contagious smile and told us … but I'm a photojournalist. My first shots were taken in the streets of New York and as a student I worked as a researcher at Magnum Photos.

Versatile and above all tirelessly enthusiastic, Susan followed us to all our most important events, naturally becoming our official photographer, sealing the most important moments with her shots and always arriving at the right time and in the right place, almost by magic.

It is difficult to be objective, as we have become friends and she knows us so well. Her world slowly became familiar to us too and she taught us to look with her eye and her sensitivity at what surrounds us and would otherwise remain silent.

At the Palmerino in 2016 we also hosted in October the exhibition Stitches on a timeline that Susan had made in June in Gangi in Sicily, the homeland of her ancestors, together with a young poet and friend Noemi Iacovitti, combining each photograph with a poem that intertwines her steps and the echo of her verses in the lonely alleys and infinite landscapes.

While we are waiting for a major exhibition of her first Italian photographic project Stop, Run and Play, perhaps the most important, because from 2000 to 2008 Susan followed a class at the Pestalozzi City School every year from first grade, documenting their progress in play and study. This investigation of hers has not lost over the years the great expressiveness and strong communication of harmonious freedom that accompanied the growth of these children.

Presenting it again after so many years will give us the opportunity to talk about education, organic development with the immersive environment in which the children find themselves and the importance of movement, values in which we both believe.

From her worlds: “The inspiration I feel when opening the gate is timeless. I have the freedom to create with the curiosity of an explorer.”


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