Susan Mackenzie Andersen was raised on the Boothbay Peninsula of Maine since the age of four . She attended Pratt Institute in Brooklyn New York earning a BFA,. Afterwards she worked for a while as a textile colorist
She met a Swiss Photographer who was looking for a darkroom printer. It was a skill that came easily to Mackenzie who had grown up in a home based ceramics business. As with ceramics, dark room printing is an art requiring a knowledge of technical dynamics to produce results that one does not see until the after work has completed a transformative. process . It is intellectual but also intuitive talent
After a time of wandering the world looking for her calling in life, Mackenzie one day realized that she had left it at home and returned to Maine and the family ceramic business. The age of the internet was just blossoming but capital was short and so Mackenzie taught herself web design using the many resources available online. This involved taking product pictures and that is how Mackenzie came to be a photographer. She used observation and a makeshift light studio set up on the kitchen table where her father, Weston Neil Andersen usually sat. By that time Weston had suffered a brain injury but he understood everything that was going on. He just couldn’t communicate what he understood in more than a few words. The look of the camera had changed since the days when Weston and his wife Brenda took their black and white product photos and made their first ceramic product catalog, but Weston understood that the activity was photography and was a willing subject and astute observer, One day as the intense afternoon sun flowed onto the table, Weston said “I hope you know what you are doing”, which impressed his daughter that he could understand the entire activity of taking a photograph despite his brain injury. He understood so much and was usually lost in thought and never bored.
So while Mackenzie was taking photographs of ceramics, she was also taking pictures of Weston and the Mill Pond out the kitchen window which is an ever changing subject.
She edited the photos with digital technology, a what you see is what you get art and she designed and printed the ceramic art catalog and brochures. At first most of her photographic time and energy was taken up by the needs of the business but over the past year personal photography has gained importance. The Photographs in the Maine Photography Show are the first that Mackenzie has taken to the level of fine art prints. The shot, the editing and the printing are equal parts of the process that becomes the finished art work reflecting the ultimate work of art- life itself.