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Photography (MA)

Thomas Jenkins

Thomas Jenkins (b. 1992) is a visual artist working with photographic processes. His work explores colour and abstraction to question what is defined as a photograph in the modern day. The methods stem from interests in contemporary and historical photography, painting and sculpture.


After the Waiting Room, Copeland Gallery, London (5th - 19th August 2022)

Previous Group Exhibitions and Features

2022 Pink Lady Photographer of the Year, Fuji Innovation Award Shortlist

2022 Something Strange happens just before the Spring, Pop up exhibition

2022 Royal College of Art, Third Floor Exhibition

2021 Passepartout Photo Prize

2021 Tebbs Contemporary Photography Exhibition

2021 No Name Collective, Collective 20

2021 The Waiting Room, MA Year 1 Boxed Exhibition

2021 MIX Magazine, Issue 63

2021 Royal College of Art, Work In Progress Show

2017 Digital Film and Screen Art Show Reel

2016 Farnham Graduate Show


2020 Royal College of Art, MA Photography

2016 UCA Farnham, BA Hons, Digital Film and Screen Arts 2:1

Show Location: Battersea campus: Dyson & Woo Buildings, First floor

My practice explores what can be defined as a photograph in the modern age. The photographs I create are not intended to be understood but to be felt, experienced and seen.

The work aims to experience the world around us through process. The process exists strongly in the physical world utilising both analog and digital. However, the imagery represents nothing of the physical and is only made physical by its existence as an object.

My processes aim to create discord within the traditional photographic processes. I take inspiration from previous artistic movements and most importantly jazz, to create a method of spontaneity directly related to the materials which result in unpredictable images that are dislocated from the tangible world.

Making the images is an intensely physical process, which the materials themselves often dictate. This is subsequently reflected in the physicality of the work. At some point the images become objects – which in turn dictate their response to the environment in which they are displayed.

As the process is never defined, photographs are made without orientation and are constantly reacting and altering. The work is entirely subjective and varies in relation to the viewer's perception but also the physical world it has currently manifested itself within.

As digital representations distance themselves from the real, the work looks to revaluate our never-ending feeds of imagery to create images that lack such representation of the physical world. They in turn demand to be deciphered, seen and experienced – tethering emotions and immaterial concepts to the physical world.

Movements 2 and 6
Movemont 4, Part 3
Movement 4, Part 1
View from Interior balcony.

Visual Symphonies is a continually evolving visual response to the world and environment, inspired by the spontaneity of jazz to create visual discord, an individual and unique process of making an image that can never be repeated.

The process is time consuming, and each movement compromises multiple pieces that sometimes seamlessly fit together while others are discordantly connected. The entire rolls vary from 7 to 18 m according to the concept of their creation and the environment in which they are displayed. Like the reverberation of sound through a given area they will never be displayed the same way more than once.

The malleability of the photographs comes from the reactive and performative nature of jazz, which is reflected in process, display, and experience.


127cm x Varying Size
Tripych 04
Triptych 11
Triptych 01
Changing of the GuardStills from video performance.

These photographs are an indulgence into colour, which is a fundamental form of visual communication. Describing colour is intrinsically difficult, as a single colour like red can only be described through comparison to red objects or entirely different colours.

These triptychs are part of a performance piece of continually altering and rotating displays. With an ever-growing library of colours, the current amount of 20 different blocks results in 1140 different combinations.  

Each combination has its own connection and conversion between the colours while individual viewers have their own perception and experience of the combination of colours.


127cm x 175cm
Chemigram Detail
Collaborative pop-up exhibition with Lucas Bullens.
80m Chemigram.

This series began by photographing silver surfaces on photographic film, culminating in printing on silver gelatine paper. Silver is reflective by nature and because of this phenomenon silver contains all colour that exists in the waves of light that are reflected.

Moving forward from this point I began physically trying to coax the colour out of discarded photographic paper. Using alchemy as a contextual template, the work aims to transform something worthless into something precious.

Through this process the paper reacts and transforms into entirely individual and unique photographs which represent nothing but their own transformation.

Chemigram A - Side A
Chemigram A - Side B
Chemigram B - Side A
Chemigram B - Side B
Detail - Chemi A
Detail - Chemi A
Detail - Chemi B
Detail - Chemi B

In contrast to the Alchemy series, these pieces are created with new photographic paper. They respond to the abstraction of photography in contemporary times; selfies and digital feeds are combined with the duality of the physical and digital persona.

The paper is soaked in photographic chemicals and water for extended periods of time. Gradually, the water stagnates and the chemistry becomes inactive. The water begins to erode and destroy the emulsion and the dyes within the paper, which leads to an uncontrollable response.

The paper is rolled tightly therefore direct contact is made throughout it. This then leaves a trace from the reactive side, creating a two-sided print of vastly different aesthetics which can only exist due to the other.


127cm x Varying lengths

These images explore the temporality of matter and entropic decay.

Subjects exist in a state of perpetual limbo. The structural integrity of the matter is constantly shifting and altering over time. As new materials are introduced to the liquids, any semblance of individuality is destroyed and the original structure disappears, leaving behind nothing but a gesture toward something new.