In Epiphanies, Photographer Sarah Van Ouwerkerk’s collaborative series with the late artist Elizabeth Swados offers expressions of hope in the spirit of looking forward, and the fortitude necessary to continue on, regardless of the obstacles.
In 2014, the artist Elizabeth Swados approached Van Ouwerkerk about doing a book. As a composer, author and director, Elizabeth had been producing work successfully for many years, from Broadway to La Mama and The Public Theatre, along with authoring many books. They set out to create a story about the life and process of making work, and all that comes in between.
The collaborative project began at a time that Swados thought marked a new beginning and believed in the process of producing work to be healthy. Swados’ poems inspired van Ouwerkerk’s photographs. These images and poems were created in the spirit of looking forward, the randomness of day-to-day life, and the fortitude necessary to continue on, regardless of the obstacles. Looking back on it, Van Ouwerkerk says “I have never loved working on a project more than this and I am grateful to have been given such a gift.” The essence of the work is about hope and it honors Swados’ memory and contributes to her legacy.
ABOUT THE ARTISTS
Sarah van Ouwerkerk received her BA in Painting from the University of Wisconsin/ Madison and her MFA from Pratt Institute. She is a professor of photography at Pratt Institute in New York City. Her work has been exhibited at the New Museum, Whitney Museum, Brooklyn Museum, Frazier Museum, and numerous other national and international venues. Her work has been published in The NY Times, Smithsonian Magazine, Vogue, NY Daily News, Scholastic Magazine, Stern, and featured on CNN, SNL, and German National Television.
To learn more visit vanouwerkerkpictures.com
Elizabeth Swados was an American composer, musician, and theater director. She received Tony Award nominations for Best Musical, Best Direction of a Musical, Best Book of a Musical, Best Original Score, and Best Choreography. Elizabeth Swados passed away in 2016 from cancer.
The activities of the Delaware Valley Arts Alliance are made possible in part by a grant from the New York State Council on the Arts with the support from the Office of the Governor and the New York State Legislature.