About
Paper Cowboys 1
Mixed media created environment, 24 x 27 photograph, 2008
Paper Cowboys 2
Mixed media created environment, 24 x 27 photograph, 2008
Paper Cowboys 5
Mixed media created environment, 24 x 27 photograph, 2008
Paper Princes 1
Mixed media created environment, 24 x 27 photograph, 2008
Paper Princes 4
Mixed media created environment, 24 x 27 photograph, 2008
Paper Princes 5
Mixed media created environment, 24 x 27 photograph, 2008

Alder Suttles, a native of the Pacific Northwest, was born in 1979 in Portland, Oregon. From early childhood she developed a passion for the power of art to create make-believe worlds. After a broad exploration of art, from painting to performance, she chose to attend Maryland Insitute College of Art where she earned a bachelor of fine art degree in photography in 2009.

While Alder uses the photographic image as a medium of art, she does not want to use the camera as a tool to deceive the viewer, rather she invites the viewer as a friend to enter a world she has created. “It’s important to me to draw a distinction between make-believe and trickery, not unlike the difference between pretending and lying, play and deceit—or even collaboration and dictatorship,” she says.

Alder prefers a tangible rather than a “Photoshopped” reality. She describes how she constructs environments “like the dioramas we made in grade school” and then challenges herself to find alternate meanings in the materials, wondering “how can I transform a wooden thread spindle into something we might encounter, in large scale, on a dark beach or if it’s possible that a jar full of buttons could become a babbling brook flowing through a desert populated by winged deer.”

 

 

“Ironically, it’s the very fact that photographs have been used historically to document actual events or to ‘capture memories’ that led me to consider them as ideal portals into the imagination."
—Alder Suttles