We had an opportunity to speak with Susannah Lohr (’21) about her thesis story, ‘Shadows Become You.’ It sounds like it’s going to be an amazing experience. Enjoy the full story on August 6th at the ‘And Then…’ thesis exhibit at andthen.sva.edu
What is your thesis story titled, what is it about, and what medium did you decide on?
My thesis is called Shadows Become You. It’s about a traumatized, alienated young woman named Lily who works the late shift at a bar. She and her coworkers are all strix, they transform into owls and feed on humans at night. In this dangerous and crumbling urban hell, Lily and her two friends are the predators. When Lily begins to fall for someone she intends to consume as prey, she begins to feel the soul-crushing effects of the guilt about what she does at night with her friends. She can’t decide between her two lives, the power and freedom of the strix versus what’s left of her humanity, and so she literally splits in two. She must find and accept the darkest part of herself if she is ever to be whole again.
Tell us a little bit about the process of deciding on telling this story. Did you always want it to be told in this medium?
It’s very personal and therefore a little scary and intimidating to reveal. I did not originally plan to use the medium of powdered graphite but it became a new favorite over the course of this project.
What theme(s) do you want people to connect with?
Healing is possible. You have everything you need within you. Listening to your intuition, learning to trust yourself. Bringing light to the subconscious through dreams and memories for a greater understanding of the self.
After graduation, how would you like the thesis story to help your career?
I would love to explore the publishing world. Though my thesis is digital, each drawing is handmade on paper. I’d love the opportunity to create a print version of this story. I am looking for representation as well.
How did your mentor help you in the creation of the story?
My mentor, Nina Bunjevac, was essential to the creation of my story. One of the first things she told me when we began working together was that I should step away from my expectations about what the story should be. She told me to experiment with a variety of media and just let the ideas flow, no editing. From that process, some amazing things began to happen. She also really helped me to break down scenes into their individual images, analyze and critique each frame, and pull them all back together to work in sequence. She has an incredible eye for detail, visual storytelling, and terrific taste as well, so I was incredibly lucky to work with her one on one.