Temporary Conversations: Suzann Gage
32 pages Soft, die cut cover with staple-bound binding
Offset lithograph cover, digital throughout
8.5" x 5.5"
Edition of 475
The fifth in Temporary Services’ interview series Temporary Conversations. Bonnie Fortune, artist and curator, interviewed Suzann Gage, an artist turned nurse, who used her skills as an illustrator to help revolutionize health care for women. Gage's work was very influential on the women's health movement and is an excellent example of how art can impact daily life, in this case helping address the abuses common to the then male-dominated medical profession. Fortune organized an exhibition, EveryBody!: Visual resistance in feminist health movements, 1969-2009, that examined the impact and continuing legacy of the Women's Health Movement both on women's health and women's production of art and visual culture. Gage's illustrations – 13 of which appear in the booklet – are uncompromising, strong, and tell a story of empowerment. Fortune's introduction to the booklet sets the tone both for the interview and the exhibition: "When Suzann Gage saw her cervix, her life changed. Gage has always been a visual person and loved art as early as she could remember. In 1972, as an art student, Gage attended a meeting with several other young feminists to learn about cervical self-examination. This was a radical new trend in the Women’s Heath Movement, which had itself evolved from the 1960s human rights and anti-war movements. Gage was taught by other women to see her own cervix with a speculum and a mirror. This caused her to have a political epiphany. Suzann Gage gave up her professional training as an artist to become a full-time health activist. Soon after, she left small-town Illinois for Los Angeles. Gage now runs Progressive Health Services in San Diego, CA as an OB/GYN nurse practitioner. She is also a nationally certified licensed acupuncturist and a nutritionist. Though she is no longer a practicing artist, her visual sensibilities and contribution to the visual culture of feminist health movements remains influential."