By The Grace of God by Susan Worsham

Issue 21

Growing up in Virginia, my childhood field trips were to cigarette factories and civil war battlegrounds, with a brown bag lunch in tow. As a young girl I could often be found holding a dixie cup full of Kool-Aid powder, with a few drops of water, making a sweet sugary paste for finger dipping. My childhood travels were spent wandering different neighborhoods on my Schwinn, and knocking on strangers' doors with those same sticky fingers. I can remember one such house, where I knocked on the door to ask if I could jump on the trampoline in the front yard. It was the Gibson Girls' trampoline, the descendants of Charles Dana Gibson, the famous illustrator. He drew the ideal woman of the early 1900's, coined the Gibson Girl. I became a constant bouncing fixture on their lawn.

This series takes me beyond the backyards and trails of my youth. It deals with the hospitality of strangers, and hits on a feeling that I have sometimes when taking portraits. The feeling that I was supposed to meet a particular person, or turn down a certain road. The title is taken from the old saying “American By Birth, Southern By The Grace Of God”. The images are made up of the places, and characters, that I believe, I have found through a sort of divine intervention. They are strangers, that invite me into their homes, to sit awhile and hear their stories. Characters that are real, and not imagined by the literary greats of the south.

Susan Worsham is a Richmond, VA based artist.
To view more of Susan's work, please visit her website.

  Destiny, Creeping Vine, Va. 

Destiny, Creeping Vine, Va. 

  Used Car Lot Holy Bible 

Used Car Lot Holy Bible 

  Untitled 

Untitled 

  Woman In Shed, Syracuse, N.Y. 

Woman In Shed, Syracuse, N.Y. 

  Roses On Jefferson Davis Highway 

Roses On Jefferson Davis Highway 

  Destiny, Grandmother's Roses, Va. 

Destiny, Grandmother's Roses, Va. 

  Front Porch Bibles 

Front Porch Bibles 

  1970's Family Portrait 

1970's Family Portrait 

  Elijah Gowin's Wedding Ring 

Elijah Gowin's Wedding Ring 

  Golden Silver 

Golden Silver 

  Golden Plums And Milk Glass

Golden Plums And Milk Glass

  Tree of Heaven 

Tree of Heaven 

  Girl In Window, Syracuse, N.Y. 

Girl In Window, Syracuse, N.Y. 

  Plastic Covered Chair 

Plastic Covered Chair 

  Golden Ware 

Golden Ware 

  Family, Fourth Of July, Syracuse, N.Y. 

Family, Fourth Of July, Syracuse, N.Y. 

  Girls In Park, Syracuse, N.Y.

Girls In Park, Syracuse, N.Y.

  Bronze Swans 

Bronze Swans 

  Swan 

Swan 

  Boy With Pumpkin, Va. 

Boy With Pumpkin, Va.