Susannah Burleson is a graduate of the John Brown University with a Bachelor of Science in Photography. After college, she quickly made the transition to commercial photography, shooting everything from weddings and author head shots to body art and food advertisements. Arkansas has been her home since 1997, and she continues to live here with her husband, Robert. She describes her passion for creativity with the Greek word meraki, meaning to “leave a piece of yourself in your work.”
Since 2014, Susannah has
been working on a lifetime series of portraits highlighting stories of people and their tattoos. A common question is, “Why did you get that tattoo?” For Susannah, this question led to deeper discussions than she would have normally had with strangers. For most, the tattoos are reminders, recalling a time when they needed inspiration, to remember a loved one, to recall a meaningful text, poem, or symbol. This speaks to the pervasive human need to remember who we are and where we come from.
The Paint project began in a tiny garage loft in 2015, where Susannah set simple guidelines focused on color and people. From these basic elements, “Painted” took on a life of its own. The colors morphed into a fantastical visual experience in which Susannah implores viewers to allow the images capture them- the expressions, details, and, most importantly, the colors -letting the imagination take flight.