Australia contemporary art modern art photo art Suzanne Phoenix



// Suzanne is a Melbourne-based photographer whose photographs, in her own words, punctuate her life. Suzanne often focuses on a topic where she would like to see more representation or an interpretation by a female gaze. We share a set of ten photos from her latest project ‘Artists in Residence’, created with 52 Artists from Victoria, Australia, during Lockdown 2.0 2020.

Photography gives Suzanne´s life a rhythm, it sets the pace and provides her opportunities to just pause. Whether she photographs events, live music and performance, portraits, places, or documents street and daily life, Suzanne´s photos have a certain kind of magic, a gift she brings to us through her camera lens. The camera allows her to see things without judgement and stretches her boundaries. It’s a tool to explore herself in a creative way, to not be in control or analyse and to grow as a person.

“an artist serves their community.”

Suzanne Phoenix

What draws you to the arts?

“My dream job was to work at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe and I remember when I was in the interview and asked a similar question I simply answered ‘I just love the arts, so much!’ I felt embarrassed for years about this but the same is still true. The visual arts, performance and live music fill my soul and shake my stresses free.”

What impressed you most about the artists and artworks created during this project?

“The diversity of the artists’ response impressed me in this series. Many tried new skills and ways of working, some inspired by the constraints of lockdown life. I was also surprised at how important this opportunity to create and collaborate was to so many.”

‘Artists in Residence’ is a collaborative art series Suzanne created with 52 artists from Victoria, Australia, during Lockdown 2.0 2020. Suzanne made virtual photographic portraits through zoom sessions with 52 artists. Each artist then responded to their portrait to shape a final work into spectacular art pieces, like hand-stitched tattoos over a photo, colourful photo postcards, illustrations, sculptures, and more.

Here we present only 10 of the artworks (click on the images to see the artist names in the captions). For more images and other work by Suzanne, head to her website (see links below), where you can also order the book.

To learn a bit more about the artists represented, have a look at the brief artist statements for each, relating to their lockdown experience. In Suzanne´s book you will also find information about the creative process they undertook for the artwork. You can find extracts below the photo gallery (Artist statements are sorted by order in which the photos are arranged. Click on the images to see image attributions.)

Images may be partly cropped for layout. Click on the photos to see the original version.

Anastasia La Fey 

Multi-disciplinary artist

‘It is these connections – to the process of making, to the human body as conduit of imagination and possibility and to close creative friendships – that have, despite losses of income, losses of opportunity, losses of movement, kept me sane and kept me hopeful of all the possibilities within an impossible reality.’

The Huxleys

Artists (we do all sorts!) 

‘We’ve had to remain positive and dream about the world’s biggest disco party once this is all over.’

Angela Savage

Writer and crafter

‘I find comfort in small, achievable tasks that allow me to bring moments of happiness in bleak times: I knit and crochet birds and beasts inspired by my reading, and post photos to social media using the hashtag #LiteraryCritters’

Richard Chadwick / Karen From Finance

Drag Artist

‘Putting on the drag that I do have with me feels surreal – as if I’m painting on a smile to cover up the despair. Some days are dark. Really dark. But most days are fine. I’m ok – sometimes I just feel like I don’t know who I am anymore.’

Freddie Merkin

Drag King

`Motivation is low. I don’t feel like baking bread or exercising. I can’t see the way out. It’s a bit depressing this time. But I’m making the most of things, trying to stay positive.’ 

Kathryn Jamieson

Fashion designer / artist

‘The extended lockdown in Melbourne has been soul destroying. I’ve lost myself and found myself over and over again. I’ve cried. I’ve danced. I’ve become an alcoholic. I’ve become sober.’

Hini Hanara

A Mish-mash-potato who’s into fashion, costume and life drawing events.

‘I feel suspended in the waves, unsure if my feet are ever going to touch sand.’


somatic / dance / empath / performance / drag-esque-thing

‘queered in language /s + hidden code /s – untranslatable//
un \ trans / late \ able/
! ? *&^$#/’

Kylie Auldist


‘Corona virus deleted my live music career. Hopefully temporarily but there is no surety of that. Resilience to change and acceptance of our situation, this is my newest skill set!!


Carlos Mantilla, Jono Martínez and Robbie Sinclair Ten Eyck

Robbie Sinclair Ten Eyck | Lazy Susan 

‘Drag is not surviving harsh conditions; it is a product of harsh conditions. Drag is art about survival.’

Jono & Carlos | BARBA 

Art Director / Event Producer

‘The pandemic has compounded the anxieties experienced by most immigrants, job instability, visa status and inability to access social safety nets. These daily strains make our home life and community connections all the more important.’ 

All artworks © SUZANNE PHOENIX and collaborating artists

There are many more images in this series, to see them visit Suzanne´s website, where you can also order the book. ‘Artists in Residence’ , a self-publication now available after it was launched as part of The Kindness Pandemic Festival of Strong.

Also check out Suzanne´s Instagram page.


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