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Feb. 23, 2012

Amphibian Afterlives

by Annette Heist

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**Enlarge slideshow to full screen to view uncropped images.
Susan Classen-Sullivan says the inspiration for “Love You More Than Life” (corpse series), an installation of five human-sized ceramic frogs, came when she began discovering the “small bodies of frogs splayed open on the damp road.” She brought the bodies back to her studio and started drawing the postures in which she found them. She was amazed, she says, by their beauty.
 
“Ethereal” doesn’t generally come to mind when I think of dead frogs, but Classen-Sullivan seems to have captured the frogs as they were floating through space, in the instant when frog souls leave frog bodies. Their anatomy is preserved in tight tendons and smooth muscles, but their colors are gone. The ghosts of a million biology lab dissections.
 
“Love You More Than Life” (corpse series) is on view at Real Art Ways in Hartford, Connecticut through April 8, 2012. Susan Classen-Sullivan is a teacher and the director/curator of the gallery at Manchester Community College.
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About Annette Heist

Annette Heist is a former senior producer for Science Friday.

The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily those of Science Friday.

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