Headlands Center for the Arts

Susannah Patrice Morse

california | writing
Affiliate Program 2015—2016

Artist Statement

I am haunted by the liminal spaces of the mind and the heart: the thresholds of discovery, the spaces between what is said and what is felt or imagined, the fragmented interactions of our bodies with the world and the ways these experiences—and our shifting memories of them—shape our creative lives and work.

As a writer, artist, and filmmaker, I use words, images, and the spaces between them to explore meaning, offering overlapping, and at times conflicting, views of the world and experience. Deeply inspired by the physical world around me, as well as artistic and scientific studies of the mind, my creative process is intuitive and hands-on, continually seeking the structural and material forms that will best express each piece. Whether playing at the borders of fantasy, literary study, cultural geography or natural wonder, I challenge my own understandings and expressions of tradition in innovative, radical form.

While At Headlands

While at Headlands, I hope to finish drafting the many intersecting pieces of Put Your Heart In Water, a collection of stories, essays, drawings and a novella that oscillate between the real and the fantastic—from the urgent mandate of “Put Your Heart In Water” and fleeting observations of “Light Journal” to the magical realism of “The River Witch” and two-toned love story of The Painter and the Bird—and compile these elements into an initial handbound manuscript proof.

While deepening my own writing practice, I will also be completing a rough cut of Gramarye, my experimental 16mm film studying Susan Cooper’s creative process as she wrote her children’s fantasy sequence The Dark Is Rising. Investigating the dynamic interactions between word and image in alternate form, this piece explores the literary innovations and imagination of an author whose work was a deep and early influence on my own.

Selected Works

Selected Texts

Morse_S_SummoningFantasy_2014 (425.31K)
Summoning Fantasy: The Real Magic of 'The Dark is Rising' Sequence (excerpt), University of Cambridge, 2014

Personal Website

http://www.susannahpatricemorse.com