Year of Award


Document Type


Degree Type

Master of Fine Arts (MFA)

Other Degree Name/Area of Focus


Department or School/College

Department of Art

Committee Chair

Matthew Hamon


alternative photographic process, artifacts, Memento, personal history, trauma


University of Montana


Capehart, Lucy, M.F.A., Spring 2011 Fine Art The Story of Things Chairperson: Professor Matthew Hamon The Story of Things examines the power of objects to hold narrative and inspire the emotional responses of longing, loss and desire. There is a tendency among humans to gather and save objects that hold personal significance. The most banal object is cherished perhaps kept in a box to be admired on occasion. An earring can symbolize the lost love of a boyfriend, a ticket to a basketball game can mark the day after a father’s funeral or a fingernail brush is a stand in for pre-teen humiliation. The German scholar and scientist Goethe said, “everything is a symbol everything points to another thing.” My thesis work concerns the object as confirmation of identity and personal history. Along with its quality of exactitude photography can be murky and mysterious. A photograph can be simultaneously a visual record and a poetic representation of the fragility of life. This is especially apparent in the cyanotype and photogram. Both techniques involve placing objects on a sensitized surface that is then exposed to light where an image is formed. The personal objects in my photographs are traces of lives lived. The photographs then become traces of traces.



© Copyright 2011 Lucy Elizabeth Capehart