I am a conceptual documentary artist and filmmaker who returned to visual expression after a 12-year career as a civil-rights lawyer. My work illuminates invisible systems through still and moving images, sound, testimony, and archival materials.
While completing a degree in Modern Culture and Media at Brown University, I studied photography at RISD. After working for photographers Mary Ellen Mark and Sylvia Plachy, as an AP stringer, and as an investigator for the federal public defender's office, I attended Harvard Law School and practiced as an attorney for more than a decade, also training as a mediator. Exhaustive research and negotiation were critical to my advocacy and remain integral to my visual practice.
I am honored to have been awarded the 2023 Prix Elysée, a biennial juried contemporary photography prize created by the Photo Elysée Museum in Lausanne, Switzerland with the support of Parmigiani Fleurier. I am also a NYSCA/NYFA Artist Fellow and inaugural Leica Women Foto Project Award winner. My work has been profiled in publications including Art in America, European Photography Magazine, British Journal of Photography, the New York Times Magazine, and Hyperallergic, and is held in public and private collections around the world.
As an ICP faculty member, I teach students how to plumb deeper layers in their work. I am also an independent consultant to artists developing long-term projects and serve on the Women Photograph Board of Directors as well as the CASE Art Fund Advisory Board.
Subscribe to my mailing list for occasional updates here. If you would like to exhibit or acquire my work or invite me to speak, teach, mentor, or collaborate, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow me @debicornwall on Instagram and Twitter.