Search Menu

Light Matter, Liza Dracup

Green Finch from Light Matter. Liza Dracup

Greenfinch, from Light Matter © Liza Dracup 2019

  • Dates:November 2019
  • Status:Archived

Light Matter was commissioned by NEPN in 2019 for the project and exhibition Observe Experiment Archive.

Light Matter explores the natural world illuminated by artificial light, inspired by the historical ideas of Joseph Swan. Swan’s experimental curiosity led him to be the notable inventor of the electric light bulb, changing our experience of nature and vision of the world forever. This photographic commission draws on his enduring spirit of enquiry, adopting his key scientific principles of observation and experimentation and will incorporate experimental analogue and digital approaches to photographing botanical specimens, exploring the transformative properties of light and in particular artificial light.

Liza Dracup’s work often de-familiarises the familiar or re-contextualises the common-place, this project builds upon this and will allow her to experiment with more abstract forms, suggesting ambiguity of specimens, hybrid plant forms and the impact of technology on the natural world.

Liza’s commission was underpinned by research visits to northern collections at Sunderland Museum & Winter Gardens (SMWG), The Lit & Phil, Great North Museum, Newcastle University and NMSM Bradford. In November 2019, the photographic work produced was shown in a group exhibition curated by NEPN at Sunderland Museum & Winter Gardens.

Supported by the National Lottery through Arts Council England.


Liza Dracup is a photographer based in the North of England. She is best known for Sharpe’s’ Wood (Impressions, 2007), an innovative series of large-scale colour landscape photographs made between dusk and dawn. Her research has led her to examine the wider cultural contexts of the northern photographic landscape, with major recent commissions including Chasing the Gloaming (2011), Re:Collections (2013) and Landmarks (2016). Liza’s work has been nominated for the Deutsche Börse Photography Prize 2012 and the Prix Pictet (Earth) Photography Award 2009.