William Arnold (b.1983) is a visual artist and historian whose work crosses photographic genres of documentary and fine art.
Inspired by the early experiments of the first photographic pioneers, William works most often in series of photographs that seek to explore aspects of temporality, the physical qualities of light and the role played by process in current debates surrounding the materiality of photography and the perceived authority of the photograph as historical or scientific document.
William takes a playful approach to the documentary form, while applying some of its rigours to make works that purport to have some grounding or basis in the scientific method of knowledge building – testable explanations and predictions of forms in the universe, yet are produced largely of an emotionally driven catalyst.
Living and working in west Cornwall, UK, William is interested in the layers of history, human and natural that comprise the making of ‘the land’ – this includes the built environment indoors and out. He is interested in the role played by the photographic surface both literally and metaphorically in recording, interrogating and representing these histories.