Breathing Underwater, Amy Schuessler (2020)

Amy created a tri-series using images and text in a loose fictional narrative about her personal experiences as a single mom through the voice of her muse. She combines her writing with her own black and white photographs of the ocean and found images flooded homes. She represents the destruction of the domestic while explaining their desire to breathe underwater amidst an immense sense of drowning. Her series of images and text are broken into three parts: 

1. A Piece of Stone is a collection of Amy’s own photographic images and found images 
2. Breathing Underwater is a body of text, a narrative that blurs fiction and non-fiction
3. Triangulation is a compilation of Amy’s black and white drawings of triangular shapes 

“The work included in this project stems from an investigation into the effects of trauma on artistic production and the ways in which elliptical narrative can create spaces of resuscitation. These image/text works utilize found photography, the artist’s photography, poetic printmaking and hybridized memoir/fairytale prose in order to create post-indexical, psychological self-portraiture. Water, rocks and flooded houses all stand in for the artist. The particular experience of ‘mothering’ foundationally informs this work.“


Amy’s submission was turned into a publication, produced by the Single Parent Archive through Blurb and is available for purchase. The book was designed to reflect Amy’s original series. 

Amy Schuessler (she/her) was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and currently resides in Columbus, Ohio. She is a graduate of Columbus College of Art & Design with a B.A. in Photography and an Art History Minor. She received her MFA at Image/Text MFA at Ithaca College in New York and is currently a Ph.D. student at The Institute for Doctoral Studies in the Visual Arts, Portland, Maine. Her work focuses on the intersection of writing and photography and she is currently working on several photo book projects.

Breathing Underwater
Breathing Unde...
By Amy Schuessler
Photo book