SOME FOX TRAILS IN VIRGINIA
I grew up at 15 Bostwick Lane, in Richmond, Virginia. My father was a chemistry teacher at the university, and we lived in a house built on the school’s property. We were surrounded by woods and an extended family of other professors and their children. When I spent time indoors, it was in front of the big picture window in our family room. It was here that I encountered death for the first time, watching birds fly into the window and fall lifeless onto the front porch. My second encounter was in the third grade when my father died of a heart attack. My favorite memory of my dad was when he came to show and tell at my school. Like a magician, he dipped beautiful roses into liquid nitrogen, and shattered them on our desks.
Some of that magic from my childhood can still be found in the basement of my oldest neighbor Margaret Daniel. Old Whitman’s chocolate boxes, the candy eaten long ago, now hold sweet memories instead. One box holds Margaret and Harrison’s wedding pictures, another a Luna Moth that came to her window in 1967. Also In her basement are dozens of boxes of black walnuts, labeled by the years they fell. When Margaret married she brought with her black walnuts from the mountains of Virginia, a dowry that like her planted roots on Bostwick Lane, and like me grew taller and taller with the years. I call her my Black Walnut Bride, and her house is the place I go to hear the stories of my childhood, since the last of my family has passed. In this series I photograph the landscape of my youth, but through the lens of my adult self. I use two women from different generations as my muses. The title “Some Fox Trails In Virginia” comes from a book written by my father’s ancestor, to show the lineage of the Fox family in Virginia. For my own purpose, it acts as a metaphorical map, of the rediscovered paths of my childhood home.
SUSAN WORSHAM lives in Richmond, Virginia. She has exhibited at the Photographic Center Northwest, Dean Jensen Gallery, and Sasha Wolf Gallery, in New York. In 2009, she was nominated for the Santa Fe Prize for Photography. In 2010, her book Some Fox Trails In Virginia was chosen first runner up in the fine art category in the Blurb Photography Book Now Competition. A former Light Work Artist In Residence, her work was chosen to represent America in the Lishui Photography Festival in China. She was named one of Photo District News top 30 Emerging photographers to watch in 2011, as well as being included in Photolucida’s Critical Mass top 50 photographers.