Why am I? Why are we?
Eyebrows were raised when I said my last name was Italian: fair skinned, blue-eyed and blonde, I clearly did not look Italian. “You must be from the north”, they would say. I would nod because, in fact, my stepfather’s family was Trevisano.
I’m the seventh generation in a family that immigrated to Quebec from England but was raised in a first generation Italian family. The question for me is not simply “who am I?” but “why am I?” What formed my character – my biology or my culture? Was I Italian? The food I ate and the voices raised around the kitchen table certainly were. Did gnocchi, risotto and brodo di carne feed my body and my soul?
The food we eat, the traditions we hold, the events we celebrate are an essential part of who we become. In Italy, my aunt fondly recalls two extended families eating at two long communal tables. That experience is very different from eating alone in front of the television. (Not judging – I’ve had my share of eating both ways!) It’s these daily rituals that form our memories and our values.
We are who we are because of (and sometimes in spite of) all our yesterdays. Our being is expressed in the things we surround ourselves with. What do we use? What do we cherish? Objects, like people, have histories -- stories told by the wear, the tarnish, the nicks and chips.
You could say that my images are visual notes, part of a life-long conversation with my self. They celebrate people and things: imperfect, impermanent and incomplete because, for me, that is the story. My documentary work focuses on community and culture celebrating both our commonalities and our diversity. My more personal work looks at objects as a reflection of our individual histories.
Tracey Suba is a Canadian photographer based in Toronto, Canada. She studied at the University of Toronto, receiving a B.A. in English literature in 1991. Her love of narrative, story and the poetic are evident in the reportage style of her photographs. She has been actively documenting community and culture in her city since 2012.
Now Showing, Sept 07-23, 2021, Treviso Photographic Festival, Group Exhibition, Treviso, Italy
2021 4th Chania International Photo Festival, Juried Exhibition, Grand Arsenali, Chania, Greece
2021 Composed, PhotoPlace Gallery Juried Exhibition, Middlebury, Vermont
2021 Davenport Collective, Group Exhibition, Artwrk Online Gallery, Toronto
2020 Nominee for the Patti Fogarty Award, Women Street Photographers, New York City, New York
2020 Women Street Photographers, Juried Exhibition, El Barrio's Artspace, New York City, New York
2020 Winner of the William J Dowkes Award for People, Hart House 98th Annual Exhibition, University of Toronto
2020 Nominee in Children of the World category at the 15th Annual Black & White Spider Awards
2020 Davenport Collective, Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival, Group Exhibition, Toronto
2020 Women Street Photographers, Group Exhibition, State Historical Museum, Chleyabinsk, Russia
2018 Sunderland Hall Gallery, First Unitarian Church, Group Exhibition, Toronto
2016 The Teddington, Group Exhibition, Toronto
2015 Spazio dell'Arte Gallery, Group Exhibition, Toronto
2015 Paul Hahn & Co, Group Exhibition, Toronto
2014 Spazio dell'Arte Gallery, Group Exhibition, Toronto
Digital Camera Magazine U.K., Stay At Home (COVID), January 2021, issue 237
PhotoLife Magazine's Showtime, June/July 2020 issue vol. 45 #4
2019 Women's History Month, feature on Flickr's landing page Mar-Jun
PhotoLife Magazine's Showtime, December/January 2017 issue vol. 42 #1, First Place
Online publications include BlogTO, MasseyHall.com and roveme.com
Kawartha Chamber of Commerce and Tourism
2015 Dolce & Gabbana's Fall catalogues
For licensing inquiries or print sales please contact me directly.
Please do not borrow or copy images from this website. All images ©TraceySuba