Q&A: Suzie Howell — Inside the Spider


Have you recently been living by any life philosophy? Try not to be judgmental. What will baffle future generations about our day and age? Industrial farming, hopefully. Are you aware of any conspiracies? That Toblerone changed its size because of Brexit. What is it that interests you about photography? The idea that you can communicate or express something that you find hard to explain with words. What is the worst thing about city life? The pollution makes my eyes sting! What part of the planet would you like to explore? Siberia. What do you think is the most plausible of the supernatural? Ghosts- I’ve seen one. Pick a field of science to be an expert within. Cosmology. What moment have you most wished you’d had a camera when you hadn’t? When I saw an octopus in Sardinia. Choose a job you would be willing to do for free on the side. The panda zookeeper in China who dresses up as a panda to play with them. Describe the most important photo you’ve seen. It’s more a body of work rather than a single photo. Rinko Kawauchi’s book ‘AILA’. I first saw this work when I was at university and it changed the way I viewed and took photographs. It made me realise that photographs don’t have to be a literal documentation of a subject, it can be a form of poetry of a place, time or just a feeling. How often do you take other people’s advice? Occasionally. Describe a personal hell. Chewing cotton wool. On what occasion do you lie? When I tell my Mum my finances are good. What was the last crime you witnessed? A man stealing a pack of cigarettes from someone in a restaurant. What is the best way to educate yourself? Reading books and listening to smarter people than myself. What is the next book you want to read? The Lonely City by Olivia Laing. Ultimate camera? Pentax 67 ii. Most used camera? Mamiya 7 ii. What object do you want? A 16mm film camera. What object do you need?. Slippers. How would you explain the internet to someone from the 1950’s? It’s a wealth of knowledge and lies all at the push of a few buttons. Are you satisfied with your level of physical strength? No! I would love to have more core and upper body strength. Describe a cheap thrill. Strawberry fizzy laces. Pick an historic moment from the last hundred years to bring a camera to. The first moon landing. Are impulses more important than consequences? No way. Impulses should always be listened to but not always obeyed. Which talent would you most like to have? I’d like to be able to ice skate really well. What is your plan for the next 24 hours? Print in the darkroom, organise my new portfolio, play netball, eat and sleep.

Between the years of 2014 and 2017, I regularly visited and photographed Walthamstow Marshes in East London, one of the last natural Wetlands in the capital. Many of the photographs are a study of the unperturbed landscape that I often wondered alone, others portray my sculpted reinterpretations of objects found on the marshes and constructed narratives with female figures.

Suzie Howell  b. Bristol, UK, now lives and works in London. Her work was recently chosen as one of the 25 semi-finalists for Document Journal’s ‘The New Vanguard Prize’ 2018, and her exhibition ‘Inside The Spider’ was selected as one of Max Ferguson’s ‘Best of 2017’ for BJP. To see more of Suzie Howell’s work visit — Website / Instagram.