Photographer: Max E Miller

Sue at Work – Narracorte Caves

Sue, a photographer with international experience and awards. She is the owner of Adelaides Sue Smith Photography (ASSP)® with focus on Architectural and Industrial photography.

In her early childhood she loved to paint with crayons, one day as her daddy left his office and her unattended the found his design plans adorned with flowers and little animals. Instead getting mad on her he taught her how to colour in the right way and from then on his construction plans contained trees, grass, flowers and animals, coloured in by his little daughter, it was 60+ years ago not usual at all that engenieering plans were coloured in, that’s for sure, but after hearing the story the building departments accepted and begun to love the coloured drawings.

Later on at school the art classes were very enjoyable for her until she got the badest mark for a drawing of a baby she worked on for weeks as the teacher didn’t accept that she did without help of her father. It was even for her parents a shock as they now even did know of her work as Sue only painted when she should have slept. In the end the stubborn teacher did not reverse the mark and from then on her daddy delivered the government no Sue-adorned coloured plans anymore and she didn’t like to attend the art classes.

Long after this school dilemma Sue experienced a traffic accident which made a reconstruction of her leg necessary, so she was long wheelchair-bound and had to attend rehab where she got friend with a lady. This lady was a wellknown high-selling painter and it was her who led Sue back to the painting. Her first work was flowers painted with crayons on thin pergament paper. Then her mentor taught her further and so Sue created graphicals in ink, later then watercolours. Her graphicals were exhibited in the Art Gallery of her mentor’s friend in Paris and were sold in no time. Sue again stopped as this gallery owner demanded more of the paintings which she did for fun and for commercial reason.

Years later, in the meantime out of the wheelchair, Sue was contracted to do a media interview with photos at the opening of an exhibition, call it fate the artist was her former mentor. Sure as that she encouranged Sue to start painting again. One of her large works did show a river scene and was sold by the gallery in Paris to a huge amount of money, and Sue once again concentraded rather on her job as  successful photographer than on painting.

Another bad accident in her life left her with a permanent disability which made it impossible to hold a camera. It was then one doctor of her medical team who encouraged at least going out the house and doing photos with the little digital pocket camera, every fortnight she had to show this doctor her works and he got her biggest critique. 

Being out of a colourful life, not able doing the sports and a lot of other things anymore caused severe depression and anxiety. It was again this doctor who encouraged her to open an Art Gallery. Sue liked the idea but on morphine about the permanent debilitating pain and seeing the doctors latest every fortnight seemed not matching with having an Art Gallery. It was again this very supportive doctor who showed her the photo of a little premises in Port Adelaide which he found apt for giving a start and as Sue indeed got the contract she had four month to find another way to cope with the pain. Help was then in Queensland where she with help of the Nambour Hospital team did overcome cold turkey and learned other ways to ignore the pain without strong painkillers and with his the delight in life and the photography was back.

Back from QLD Sue did set up the gallery with help of friends, it was another mental hurdle to overcome in the loss of independency but when she stubborn tried hands-on the pain showed her the limit so she had to learn to accept her mobility restrictions and to learn to embrace the help of friends. 

After opening of the gallery Sue looked day by day forward to open her doors and there was no way and time to let depression and anxiety take again over her life. Her own story opened the door to the Youth and also to artists suffering a disability too even if not all of the exhibitors was handicaped.

One of the artists with a disability held during her SALA exhibition a watercolour workshop. Encouraged by artist and participants Sue joint in after a while in and realised that the enjoyment in painting came back and so  the “JOURNEY OF THE SOUL” was created, this award winner is entered in the Campbelltown Art Show and one of Sue’s naive paintings “HEXENHAEUSCHEN – GINGERBREAD HOUSE”.

In the Flagstaff Hill Art Show Sue decided to present a bit of our history in entering her photograph “1864 – THE PORTHOLE” and her award winner “PINK JELLYFISH”.

Remark: Sue did supervise the installation of 2016 Rotary Port Adelaide Art Show whith more than 550 works in different shapes and sizes.