A Chance Encounter – Experimental Photography by Elizabeth Thorn


Elizabeth Thorn
  • Mon 23-11-2020 to Thu 10-12-2020

Fringe Vault

Free Admission


Exhibition extends to 10 Dec, 2020 (Thursday)

Photographer Elizabeth Thorn says: “I have long been fascinated by the hidden beauty in natural elements such as light, liquid and force, and the physical interaction between them.  While other people have captured stunning physics phenomena with ultra-high-speed cameras, I seek to capture them through inexpensive and accessible ways.

I am influenced by the countless artists who have used abstraction to find unreality in reality in order to stimulate people’s awareness of the process behind an image.  Specifically, I have tried to experiment with the identification and isolation of compositions to find form and beauty not just in the details, but also in the elements created unintentionally and unexpectedly.

Some of the images were taken with an entry-level digital camera when I was doing physics experiments at home using everyday materials.  I hope to elicit questions such as “What is this?” and “How is this made?”, and to show that ultimately, it is chance in nature and the laws of physics that produced these images.

Other images were photograms, which allow me to embrace photography’s capacity to produce as well as to record.  For me, a photogram is a visible impression of a process or an interaction.  An object depicted only as a contrast between light and shadow looks quite different to that object in reality, yet its form can be accentuated or transformed to suggest a new reality or unreality.  What excites me in my attempts to gain a sense of control by repeating methodically through many variations, much like in a physics experiment, is the sense of wonder and unpredictability that gives an immediacy to the final result.

Some examples: I experimented with paper cut-outs, layered with ink painting; I tried to isolate the unseen qualities of an object by capturing how light from a prism refracts and transforms a withered plant; and the images in the Wax Drip series are the product of light and gravity – I used a candle as both an object and the light source, and the wax as a chemical block.

For me, both processes, with a camera and camera-less, encapsulate the elements of control and chance, and each work is an experiment and a discovery.”

Elizabeth Thorn is a 17-year-old high-school student at St. Paul’s Girls’ School in London, England.  She spent part of her childhood in Hong Kong.  She’s studying for her A-levels in Physics and Philosophy, and plans to pursue the same subjects at university.  Alongside her schoolwork, Elizabeth seeks to capture the beauty in physical phenomena through experimental photography in a darkroom that she built herself.  


Fringe Club The Vault:

2 Lower Albert Road (enter also from Wyndham Street), Central, Hong Kong


Opening Hours:

Mon - Tues: 11:00 - 16:00

Wed - Fri: 11:00 - 23:00

The artworks are for sale

Enquiries: Ms C Ting Chan (ctingchan@hkfringeclub.com)

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