Kelsey Sucena

Kelsey Sucena (b. 1994, Honolulu) is a New York based photographer, writer and Park Ranger currently residing on Long Island. As a child Kelsey spent many winters hiking the coasts of Long Island, where storms and rising seas shift and shape the coastline. It is here that Kelsey became fascinated with the concept of impermanence, turning to photography as a means to solidify a place that was constantly in motion. Today Kelsey’s work centers around Buddhist concepts, pairing written words with photographic narratives to investigate the existential nature of photographing life. Kelsey is recent graduate from the Conservatory of Art and Design at SUNY Purchase with a BFA in Photography.

The Circumstances of Existence

On the face of a disappearing shore it is natural to want to grasp at every last grain of sand on its march towards the sea; Natural, though impossible. Faced with this the artist turns to other methods of documenting a transient life. Through photographs the artist is promised a definitive visual record, an assured statement of how a place was before the storm swept it away, but while photographs can promise to capture in great detail each moment, each grain of sand or shard of glass, they miss certain crucial elements that mark reality.

In Buddhism the concepts of impermanence, anatta (non self), and dukkha (suffering) mark the foundations of existence. They suggest that even the photograph, with all of its promise, can be impermanent, incomplete, and unsatisfactory. Using the vanishing coastline of New York as a foundation for the expression of these realities, Kelsey Sucena weaves together photographs and pairs them with short stories and poems to create series of images which muse upon the nature of existence in the hopes of capturing a sufficient record of what it means to be.

To view more of Kelsey’s work please visit his website.