Surface Essay
(Photographs from Rome, text from da Vinci’s notebooks)

Throughout da Vinci’s notebooks he writes to a phantom ‘you.’ You performs experiments, lifts hypotheses to conclusions, and wages silent arguments against him. You’s identity is a shifting one: at times you operates as a mirror to da Vinci himself, at other times a student, a reader, or an actor. This piece takes text from da Vinci’s notebooks, and reworks it; making you the active subject, rather than a phantom one.


Claire Peckham is an artist-writer from Seattle, Washington. She earned her BA in English and BFA in Photomedia from the University of Washington in 2015, and her MFA in Fine Art from the Ruskin School of Art, University of Oxford in 2018. Claire’s work explores negative space and how it operates within the contexts of language, history, gender, landscape, and relationship.