Local photographer Tamara Susa’s ‘Disturbance’ to open at Red Brick | AspenTimes.com

Local photographer Tamara Susa’s ‘Disturbance’ to open at Red Brick

Photographer Tamara Susa.
Courtesy Tamara Susa

Red Brick’s latest exhibition by Tamara Susa is more than just an artful display of the environment — it is a mission to protect it. 

Two new exhibitions open at Aspen’s Red Brick Center for the Arts on Thursday, including their resident artists program, and Tamara Susa’s Disturbance, her photo project on Colorado’s Rocky Mountains. 

Water in the West, Tamara Susa.
Tamara Susa / Photo Credit

A native of the former Yugoslavia, Susa has lived and worked in the valley for 10 years and is the photographer behind many culturally-relevant and poignant images of nature. 

“I wanted to do more with my photography than simply take photos of pretty landscapes. Through these photographs, I want to show the beauty of the environment that surrounds us but also remind the audience of the urgency of protecting this place we all love so much,” she wrote in an email with The Aspen Times. 

Because of her drive to raise awareness about climate change happening, she captures local mountains using long exposures to represent the passage of time. She partners with the Aspen Center for Environmental Studies in her research and will donate 10% of her print sales in gratitude for their help and their mission. 

Biophilia, Tamara Susa.
Tamara Susa, Photo Credit

This is Susa’s second exhibition presented at the Red Brick, a space where she loves to return for the connection it offers local artists.

Her Disturbance tells a local story focusing on the mountains that draw thousands of skiers, mountaineers, and visitors every year. Disturbance focuses on the life force of snow, and the way it contributes to cycles of life and living across the community. 

“Snow isn’t merely wonderful for winter recreational purposes, but also is a crucial water supply for our lives, year-round, in Colorado,” she wrote. “As the ski seasons become shorter, low water levels will make rafting almost nonexistent. Mountain-biking trails will turn into dust, forests will turn gray, and wildlife will disappear from the landscape.” 

Disturbance, Tamara Susa.
Tamara Susa / Photo Credit

Disturbance is one piece of a three-part project capturing climate change in all of the many forms it exists within our backyard. The three-part project explores the phases water passes through: rain, snow, and ice, and how Colorado snow is essential for life. 

“There’s this general perception that the impact of climate change isn’t an immediate concern. I wanted to bring this topic closer to home and specifically focus on the importance of the snowpack in order to fight wildfires. When I started working on this project, the Grizzly Creek Fire was raging in Glenwood Canyon,” Susa wrote. 

Disturbance, Biophilia, and Water in the West comprise her environmental-awareness project. The project is based on her rallying phrase: “In the West, snow is water.” 

Susa intends to use the palpable beauty of nature to provoke viewers to protect it. 

Water in the West, Tamara Susa.
Tamara Susa / Photo Credit

Disturbance opens for viewing Thursday at the Red Brick from 5 to 7 p.m., and Susa plans to attend. The exhibition will remain at the Red Brick until Feb. 23, 2023. 

Her photographs are printed on eco-friendly paper, mounted onto hardboard of wheat paste, and written on with chalk. Entirely biodegradable, her work will fade with time as, she warns, so will our planet.

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