Involved in photography for over twenty-five years, Sullivan finds subjects who are testing themselves, putting themselves out on a limb or just making their way through life with a rugged, independent spirit. Subjects include Colorado rodeo families, New Jersey cops on Harleys, flamboyant cross dressers in NYC - and her mom.
The video in Sullivan's multimedia installation about growing up in Illinois, The Land of Lincoln, shows her mother extolling her own mother's ability to "shoulder it'," toughing out the depression with nine kids, seven of them boys. With asthma, and a mechanic husband who drank, my grandmother would not leave her house for seven years. She was ashamed of her own clothes, but her children were never neglected.
The Mom Project is Sullivan's most recent exploration. In the photojournalist's constant effort to "get closer" she thought, who is closer to me than my mother? That was followed by the thought, how does my mother see herself, and how do I see my mother? Using costumes and makeup to address both perceptions, Sullivan dresses and makes up her mother, and shoots. This body of work has brought the two of them much closer. Her mother now appreciates the effort and craft of her work as she watches her daughter go through whatever it takes to get the vision realized.
Exhibiting in group and solo shows in NYC, Sullivan's work has appeared in New York Magazine, TimeoutNY, & PAPER Magazine; on HBO's "Bored to Death;" and in "The Party Dress Book" by Mary Adams and "ABFAB to ZEN: PAPER Magazine's Guide to Pop Culture."
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