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Australian art


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Light dancer



Douglas Holleley

Australia, United States of America

1949 -


Australian born and American based photographer Douglas Holleley has experimented with many aberrant photographic techniques over the course of his career. Holleley received a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology in 1971 at Macquarie University before relocating to America to undertake a Master of Fine Arts, studying at the Visual Studies Workshop in Rochester, New York between 1974 and 1976. Founded by Nathan Lyons in 1969 and affiliated with important photographers including Minor White and Frederick Sommers, the Visual Studies Workshop was a bedrock institution that fostered innovative photographic practice from the 1970s onwards. It was here that Holleley received tutelage from Ansel Adams in 1975. His early photographic output includes hand coloured black and white photographs as well as photograms and gridded arrangements of Polaroids. He later began experimenting with digital photography, applying the same principles of the photogram to his experiments with a flatbed scanner.

Holleley’s black and white analogue photograms produced in 1993, ‘Light flight’ and ‘Light dancer’, were an experimental response to a poetic hypothesis. As Holleley rephrased in 2015, these works attempt to answer the question: ‘can I make an image using only the basic building blocks of the medium? … the idea was to allow an image to come into being without any reliance on any object other than the piece of photo paper itself. It other words, can the paper image itself?’ These unique images were made by folding damp photographic paper into a bundle before exposing and developing it in the darkroom. A photographic image is produced without the camera or the negative. Abstract and ambiguous, the subject of these photographs is the paper, the light and the very event of photographic inscription.




Media category


Materials used

gelatin silver photogram


50.5 x 40.6 cm image/sheet

Signature & date

Not signed. Not dated.


Gift of the artist 1993


Not on display

Accession number


Artist information

Douglas Holleley

Works in the collection


Shown in 1 exhibition

Exhibition history

  • Imprint, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 06 Feb 2016–18 May 2016