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Susan Coolen BDes ‘77
Born in Halifax in 1955, Coolen is a Montreal-based visual artist. She moved to Montreal in 1991 to pursue a BFA in Photography at Concordia University, followed by an MFA in Photography at Columbia College, Chicago. She has participated in solo and group exhibitions across Canada, the USA and Europe. These include Shifting Sites, with the Canadian Museum of Contemporary Photography & the National Gallery of Canada’s “On Tour” program, 2000 to 2003, Encontros con la image Tenerife, Canary Islands, 2000, Beyond Science, Metrònom, Barcelona, Spain, 2004, and The Language of Nature, Canadian Museum of Nature, Ottawa, 2008.

Coolen’s work has been featured in Photo Vision: Big Crunch, Spain; Terre Océane; Dazibao Publications series, Montréal, Scrivener Creative Review, Montréal; Sphere, Presentation House Gallery, Vancouver; Québec Science Magazine; and Trash, MIT Press & Alphabet City.

“My work revolves around the constant activity of scavenging. I gather the detritus of daily life and of nature, which I organize and photograph on a continuous basis. This imagery is underlined by interests in the museum, astronomy, the history of photography, popular culture and more. Recent works explores links between nature, visual language and graphic form…returning me to my background as a graphic designer.”


From the series [Le Spectacle de la Nature: A Collector’s Compendium [Collections - detail], 2000 – ongoing.

From the series The Language of Nature [Snake E], 2008. 24  x 12”

From the series [de]Cipher [Snake Script - detail], 2004. 60 x 26”