In everyone’s life there are moments and events that help shape or define who they are, and for Susan Worsham, perhaps the most significant of these occurred when she was 18 years old. Her brother, whose spinal cord had been severed in a motorcycle accident, took his own life. Already at a young age, Worsham had lost her father to a heart attack and then in 2004, Worsham’s mother passed away as well. Worsham writes, “Shortly after my mother passed, I came across a set of antique veterinary slides. They seemed to hold beauty and death at the same time. I framed 90 of them in a long wooden frame resembling the shape of the slide itself. It was the first piece of art that I made after my mother died. I called the piece a watercolor because of the collection of pastel colors, but it was also a sort of poem when you got close and read the titles…Rabbit’s Lung, Fowl’s spleen, and even Human Umbilical Cord.”
From there, Worsham went on to photograph her childhood home as well as her oldest neighbor, Margaret Daniel, one of the last remaining threads from Worsham’s childhood and the last person to see her brother alive.
The story came full circle when Margaret, a former biology teacher, brought out her dissection kit and microscope slides – the very same kind that Worsham had been fascinated with. Margaret’s microscope and slides have since become a metaphor for Worsham’s desire to look deeper into the landscape of her childhood.