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  • Writer's pictureJo Sutherst

Informing Contexts – Framing

“It’s funny how the beauty of art has so much more to do with the frame than with the artwork itself.”

– Chuck Palahniuk (2002: 47)


Frames should enhance an image and not detract from it or intrude on the viewer’s experience.  This is the challenge for photographers and curators alike.

But let’s be honest now.  Could you actually describe in detail the frame surrounding and supporting the last photograph or piece of artwork you viewed in a gallery?  Do you remember the colour, the width or whether it was ornate or plain? Did you even notice if there was frame?

When the collection catalogues are produced, the frames often fall victim to the crop of the editor.  So why then are frames so important a gallery context?  Frames protect and support artwork.  The design and materials chosen reflect the intent of the artist or photographer (or in some cases, the curator) by enhancing and complementing the work without overpowering it.

Getting the framing right will be a challenge in my practice moving forwards.  I am currently considering presenting work without frames.  This way my work will interpreted for the content, not the context in which it is framed.


Palahniuk, C. 2002. Choke (Turtleback School & Library Binding Edition). Turtleback School & Library ed. Edition. Turtleback Books.

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