Artists: Annemarie Hope-Cross & Eric Schusser

Location: The Russell Henderson Gallery Central Stories Museum & Art Gallery, Alexandra

Dates: 18 December 2020 – 31 January 2021

Open: Monday – Friday 10am – 4pm, Weekends 11am – 2pm

This exhibition is a collaborative photographic project between Annemarie Hope-Cross and Eric Schusser. “Thursday’s Child” frames a narrative around cancer that is intensely, intrinsically personal; the images provoke a visceral response in people, tug at memories and unlock the door to countless emotions.

Developed over three years and incorporating two photo books “Still Intrusion” and “Dissolving Margins”, the exhibition speaks of family and home, of self-care and care for others, of roads walked alone but always coming back together. The viewer is encouraged to reflect on the universal experiences and connections that make us who we are. This is a collaboration of very different techniques but with a shared artistic vision that consistently connects with the reality of life in words and metaphor. The exhibition and accompanying books speaks of strength, determination and love.

Annemarie Hope-Cross is an internationally exhibiting historic processes photographic artist. Her exacting labour to mix chemicals and produce images in the manner of one of the founders of photography, William Henry Fox Talbot, has led her to explore specific imagery as she deals with her cancer diagnoses. Haunting images associated with old bottles and referencing the Heidelberg Apotheke as well as medicinal herbs form the body of her work.

Eric Schusser is a photographic artist whose focus includes black and white landscape photography, abstract photography and the telling of stories through the combination of photography and text. In this series, the images and text explore the effects of the diagnosis and treatment on Eric as the primary carer and the places he visited while caring for Annemarie.

Annemarie and Eric live in Alexandra, Central Otago with their delightful Cocker Spaniel Sia.

Photographic Artists’ statement accompanying exhibition:

Thursday’s Child

“Thursday’s Child” explores the impact of a cancer diagnosis on our lives for the last three and a half years. It records our respective photographic responses to the diagnosis, various treatments in multiple locations, and the ongoing incessant stress and worry.

Strength, determination and love; these factors shine through in our collaborative exhibition and accompanying book. “Still Intrusion” and the follow on book “Dissolving Margins” frame a narrative around cancer that is intensely, intrinsically personal; the images and text provoke a visceral response in people, tug at memories and unlock the door to countless emotions.

Collectively, both books and the accompanying exhibition speak of family and home, of self-care and care for others, of roads walked alone but always coming back together. The viewer is encouraged to reflect on the universal experiences and connections that make us who we are.

When our world dissolves into chaos and uncertainty, when our eyes and minds dart from one image and thought to the next, unable to focus, unable to take a deep breath – we reach for the hand of a person we love. We close a window on the storm outside and look to the things that never change. We find the light again, find ourselves again, draw solace and inspiration from moments, objects, and memories, the perpetual fragments of beauty and wonder that make us who are we are. That transition through the dark, through a fog of fear and exhaustion, is powerfully captured in our collaboration; so too is the inner resilience, the determination, and an unbreakable bond.

Stylistically, the early history of photography is connected with its modern digital counterpart, juxtaposing the serenity of photogenic drawings with the edgier, urban feel of digital processes.

We have distinctive photographic styles, but the images interlock rather than contrast providing a shared artistic vision that consistently connects with the reality of life in words and metaphor. We are two voices telling a shared story of individual lives entwined on the same path, sharing vulnerability in way to connect the viewer to their own losses and their connection to all human experience both suffering and its respite.

Annemarie Hope-Cross & Eric Schusser