Susan Hockaday was born in 1938 near St. Louis, Missouri into a family of painters, architects, designers, city planners, and photographers. She rebelled by studying Human Physiology and Art at Vassar College, and planned to become a professional medical artist. Instead she worked for a few years after college in hospital laboratories, and made drawings of surgical procedures. Eventually she moved to Princeton in 1964 with her husband and their 3 children. She continued her art education at Princeton University, The Museum School in Boston, and Pratt Graphics in NYC. From 1971 her family has spent every summer in Nova Scotia on a farm they bought on Cape Breton Island. After 43 years in Princeton she and her husband moved into a barn in nearby Hopewell, which they rebuilt with the help of their son, an architect. Part of the old hayloft became her studio, and they have used the open space in the barn to present over 100 Jazz Concerts of musicians from New York.


My art practice reflects the influence of my family, the many years I spent living in the countryside in Missouri, plus 50 summers in rural Nova Scotia. Science, art, and design are all one to me. My focus has always been the intricate patterns and details of the natural world. I have worked in many mediums: drawing, etching, handmade paper, and collage constructions. For the last 25 years photography has been my principal tool.

In 2002 I learned about the vast amount of plastic trash in all the oceans and on land masses across the planet. I felt that my work had to change: nature was no longer what it used to be. It was now seriously threatened by pollution and the effects of Climate Change. The connection between trash, climate change, and nature has become the focus of my work. Plastic is my symbol of the struggle. I experimented with large drawings & photograms, but found that photography is the best tool for exploring these relationships. My practice is to arrange a mixture of objects, plastic, natural, industrial, and domestic on a table and photograph them from above. I am fascinated by the design of these disparate artifacts when they come together. The pictures tell stories about the problems we face. They are portraits of us, and our civilization at this time.

The photographs are printed in large format as Epson Inkjet Prints, on Tier1 paper, at Print Space in New York.