Rachel Sussman, a contemporary artist based in Brooklyn whose photographs and writing have been featured in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Guardian, and NPR’s Picture Show. She has spoken on the TED main stage and at the Long Now Foundation, and is a member of Al Gore’s Climate Reality Leadership Corps.
We met Rachel at the Kickstarter headquarters in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, where she spoke about her path to becoming a professional artist. Afterwards we enjoyed a personal walkthrough of the gallery show. Her series “The Oldest Living Things In The World” has become a touring exhibition, selections from which are currently on display in the Kickstarter gallery. The next large solo exhibition will be at the National Museum of Wildlife Art in Jackson, Wyoming and opens May 16th.
She started the project 5 years ago, and since then she has photographed nearly 25 different organisms, ranging from the Bristlecone Pine and Giant Sequoias (that you’ve likely heard of) to some truly unusual and unique desert shrubs, bacteria, a predatory fungus, and a clonal colony of Aspen trees that’s male and, in some theories, immortal. The Oldest Living Things in the World is an epic journey through time and space. Over the past decade, artist Rachel Sussman has researched, worked with biologists, and traveled the world to photograph continuously living organisms that are 2,000 years old and older. Spanning from Antarctica to Greenland, the Mojave Desert to the Australian Outback, the result is a stunning and unique visual collection of ancient organisms unlike anything that has been created in the arts or sciences before, insightfully and accessibly narrated by Sussman along the way. Her portraits reveal the living history of our planet—and what we stand to lose in the future.