Sculpture With Photography
: How might camera-less photography provide a corollary to ephemeral/ time-based sculpture?

  • Phillip Hall-Patch

    Student thesis: Master's Thesis


    Ever since William Henry Fox Talbot used his plaster replica of the Bust of Patroclus (from 1842) as a model for the photographic invention he was developing, photography has had a long and entwined relationship with sculpture. It was not seen as a mortal threat (in the way that it occasioned proclamations of the death of painting), but rather a field of possibilities where the perception and meaning of sculpture could be explored. Whilst, in the 1960’s, sculpture experienced an expansion of its terms, photography was consigned to a predominantly visual and scopic functionary of documentation; capturing representations of fixed moments in time.

    This fine-art and practice-based research enquiry considers the relationships between photography: of sculpture, into sculpture and as sculpture, proposing that there may exist a preposition of ‘photography with sculpture’. As photography continues to develop its own expansion of terms, with a movement away from the digital and representational toward a materialist and phenomenological expression, this research explores if there may exist a conjoining of these expanded fields.

    With a specific focus on ephemeral sculpture and camera-less photography, the problematised question of time and the expression of the temporal are brought into sharp relief. Here a sculpture may transpose itself from a 3-dimensional to 2-dimensional form (where the “photograph” may yet retain an object status), where the sculpture may change over time, its representation may follow, tethered, continually inviting us – after Robert Morris – into a “present-tense” of photography. In this manner new readings may become possible with implications for our understanding of both disciplines.

    With rigorous documentation and reflection in the form of research diaries, a number of artefacts have been developed combining ephemeral salt sculptures with salt photography, reducing photography to the elemental nature of light sensitised surfaces, more or less fixed, with salt, to create unstable images.
    Date of Award1 Nov 2018
    Original languageEnglish
    SupervisorMary Anne Francis (Supervisor) & Jo Love (Supervisor)


    • Sculputre
    • Photography
    • Cameraless photograhy
    • Arts-led
    • Practice-based
    • Salt photography
    • Ephemeral sculpture

    Cite this