Artist Statement

My recent body of work, depicting the interiors of urban dwellings as loci of imagination and memory, addresses urban life’s paradoxical combination of isolation and forced intimacy – of ‘boundaries that slip away.’ The boxes house dioramas that depict different apartment interiors and the stairwells of walk-up, tenement buildings. The intricately detailed miniature worlds merge small-scale models, photographs, mirrors and lights to establish a sense of complex architectural space. This combination of materials also creates the illusion of rooms that expand beyond the boundaries of the box. As viewers engage with them, moving from side to side in an effort to figure out how they work, the scenes seem to shift. The foreboding atmosphere of these dioramas is not dissimilar to the psychological climate in Hitchcock’s Rear Window; or the solitude suggested in Edward Hopper’s paintings. The pieces act as stage sets and present the interconnections that occur among private, public, and intermediary spaces. My aim is to capture the odd beauty and mystery of these intimate yet often impersonal intersections, where the residue of history typically goes unnoticed.

– Susan Leopold


Susan Leopold’s studio, January 2015