Professor Rekindles Love of Photography During Sabbatical in Rome

Wednesday, May 04, 2016

Professor Rekindles Love of Photography During Sabbatical in Rome
A little over a year ago, Thea Scott-Fundling found a box of 35mm film negatives that had been packed away for decades. What developed surprised her. The associate professor of interior design at Marymount University realized the shots – ranging from portraits to landscapes to architectural space and form – were very good.

After that, she got out her old camera and began taking pictures on film again.
“This is something I loved and missed,” she says, noting that she earned a bachelor’s degree in art from the University of Texas before getting her master’s degree in architecture.

So when Scott-Fundling went on sabbatical in Rome recently, she rented a dark room and used photography to help her explore Italian architecture, particularly its interstitial space.

“This is the space, between the interior and the exterior, where the drama of life can take place in unplanned ceremony,” she explains.

She recorded spaces in black and white, color film, and digital photography. She especially liked the black and white film.

“I like the slowness of the medium, the way you have to think about things like changing for the lighting,” she says. “It’s a more purposeful act. I think you see more and the composition becomes much more visual. It’s so much fun that I’m going to do it for the rest of my life.”

Scott-Fundling’s confident what she learned while on sabbatical is helping her teaching.

“I’m a designer and also an architect,” she says. “I draw on different disciplines.  I just finished teaching a furniture design class.”

She showed her students Italian modern and Italian historic designs and explained the context of the place where this type of furniture came from. She also teaches a studio class for seniors, where she draws on her time abroad.