Centre for Fine Print Research University of the West of England Centre for Fine Print Research
 

Organic Form in Photography


AUTHOR:
Hammond, Anne
NAME OF CONFERENCE: Visiting Lecture for MA in History and Theory of Photography
PLACE: Sotheby's Institute of Art, London
DATE: 01.03.07
PAPER PRESENTED BY: Dr Anne Hammond
URL LINKS:



Abstract:

This lecture shows how the English photographer Frederick H. Evans (1853-1943) and the American Edward Weston (1886-1958) both employed the principle of the spiral in their photographs, to express a symbol of growth and human aspiration, and the idea of unity in nature. Evans, a committed Swedenborgian, found the spiral in the staircases of the English and French cathedrals, while Weston inherited the motif of the spiral from German photographers of the ‘new objectivity’ influenced by the evolutionary biologist Ernst Haeckel, whose ideas were shaped by Goethe’s experiments on the spiral growth of plants in 1807. The talk also touches upon the work of Edward Steichen and Albert Renger-Patzsch, and shows these major photographers from both centuries embracing both the reality of objects in nature and the essential meanings within their forms.