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Steffany Suze Boucher’s art tells tales of adaptation and constraint 

click to enlarge STEFFANY SUZE BOUCHER
  • Steffany Suze Boucher
There’s a song, “I’m Tying the Leaves So They Won’t Come Down,” that’s been around since 1907. The lyrics describe a young boy who learns that his playmate has fallen ill and will likely die when the first leaves of autumn fall. He takes it upon himself to climb into a tree and tie every leaf to its branch, so they can’t fall — so his friend won’t die. It’s a song that’s close to artist/Manitou resident Steffany Suze Boucher’s heart.

“It’s a song that my grandfather, for a long time, would sing while he drove his truck with my father in it,” she says. Toward the end of her grandfather’s life, she and her family would learn that he had kept a secret from most of them: a daughter, who had died as an infant.

She’s responded to the memory in one of three drawings that constitute the “main story” in her current Kreuser Gallery exhibit, The Shadows of Things, in a piece called “Tying the Leaves.” It accompanies two other “main story” drawings, as well as more abstract character pieces and paper-sculpture installations that show “blown-up sections” of her themes.
“I typically use creative writing as the starting point for my creative process and then work out from there,” she says. Next, she explores two major areas of interest: science and evolution, and nostalgia for childhood, often weaving her pursuits together.

“For me, I think life is about change and how we personally adapt to our environment,” she says. She brings up another “main story” piece called “Morphogenic Field.” It’s a silhouette of a woman, given dimension by a field of dots.

“You can see this energy that’s sort of emanating from her,” she says. “It’s based on this neurological phenomenon... about humans and their relationship to space, or the development of plants and how plants go in their relationship to space and understanding what the boundaries are around them without being able to see them.”

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