“Photography With Sculpture” is a fine-art and practice-based research project, completed toward award of an MRes post-graduate degree at the University of Brighton. It explores the intimate and longstanding connection between the two disciplines, and proposes a new and unexplored relationship.
Historically this relationship can be categorised as photography Of, Into and As sculpture. From photography’s invention sculpture was a favourite subject matter; white marble forms that could pose for hours gave crisp and clear renditions in early black and white images. In the 1960’s artists began both to combine/ collage photographs with sculptures, and even use the photographic object itself; to fold, twist and tear, to make three-dimensional forms.
Here the research reflected on whether it might be possible to identify a form of photography with sculpture. Where Robert Morris spoke of the “present-tense” of sculpture, tethering the photograph to sculpture could similarly create a present-tense of photography, challenging accepted notions of photography’s relationship to time.
In identifying the links between ephemeral salt sculptures and the beginnings of photography in the mid 19th Century (where salt made the fixing of light-sensitised silvered images possible), a methodology using cameraless photography has been developed which not only captures the formation and making of such sculptures, but images which also degrade and decay over time, tethered to the object which formed them.
A one day performative exhibition of findings was held at the School of Media and Photography, University of Brighton, on the 24th August 2018. Research artifacts were on display whilst new pieces were made and developed over the course of the day.
The full thesis is available on request, or can be found at: