Creation Date



image preview


archival inkjet print


Dimensions: 12 x 18 inches

This work is part of the series entitled Famous Battles.

Artist Statement

I am not in the field making documentary work on armed conflicts, nor the destruction left behind. The famous battles I am addressing are recurrent social and personal issues. These topics are already publicly portrayed, discussed, and fought over, in the news, social media, and courthouses. Using still life photography with subtle, ambiguous use of symbols, I hope to simply display the social issue and give the viewer a neutral starting point to reflect on each conflict.

The egg has endless symbolism: fertility, preciousness, fragility, and so on. The glass bell is also an object packed with meaning. I hope to give the viewer just enough symbolism through the objects, to begin to think of how they might relate to each other, and what kind of social issue they might be asking you to confront. The warm backlight provides an amiable place for the viewer to begin, leaving behind the biased light the media shines on these famous battles. The wall of light also represents the screen—the most common place we watch the discussion of social issues unfold—but, the warmth and texture strips the screen of opinion. The use of binary objects, or symbols, can evoke the typical polarity of an issue, and also refer to a connection involved in it.

Guaranteed, we all have opinions about the topics I am addressing, but nothing is ever cut and dry; one person may agree on one issue and disagree on another. By aiming toward neutrality, viewers are able to work through the topic, interpreting and relating. It may not even evoke a position-taking reaction, just a vacation from the force fed portrayals we are all too use to. I hope to leave a new, peaceful memory of each conflict to call upon when the arguing gets to be repetitious and dull.


© Spencer Lloyd Hattabaugh, 2015.

Exhibit Images


still life, tableaux, belief, construct, social, found objects