Claybrook pushes new perception

Title of exhibition: Pushing perception is the name of Claybrook’s exhibition. Claybrook said that viewing objects from different perspectives helped him view life problems from different perspectives. 

Yue Li

John Claybrook, a senior photography student, is holding his senior exhibition, Pushing Perception, at the John R. Adams Gallery at Washburn University. The exhibition will last until Sept. 27.

The show presents a new perspective to see the world. “It’s about seeing our surroundings differently than we normally do in everyday life. It’s about removing labels of the things you see and creating a different view,” said Claybrook.

There are 26 photos included in the show. The idea is to interpret the image with a higher awareness, beyond labeling an object, according to Claybrook’s artist statement.

Claybrook was inspired by David Hartley, who teaches art history and drawing classes at Washburn University.

“When I first started here, in Drawing I, he [Hartley] taught us to really see, to open our eyes. That’s where I started,” said Claybrook. “Ever since then, everything I looked at was a piece of art. I just connected lines and everything. I started seeing differently. I started removing the names of what things we’re actually seeing,” said Claybrook.

Claybrook was also impacted by Danielle Head, assistant professor within the art department.

“He (Hartley) taught me how to see. Danielle Head taught me how to use that information, how to research deeper into what meaning for that information, how to put that information on paper, and basically, how to use the camera properly to get to that point,” said Claybrook.

Head said Claybrook is a hard worker who is always trying new things and always has a clear vision. 

“I think John has a really excellent exhibition. He’s been really thinking about abstraction, in different ways of looking at the world through photography. So I think taking in as a whole, his exhibition accomplished his creative vision,” said Head.

After graduating, Claybrook wants to join the Air Force.

“Now, I’ve gone through college. I can enter into the military as an officer,” said Claybrook. “If I don’t get in as an officer, then it would be photojournalist, or aerial photographer.”

As a photographer, Claybrook wants to successfully promote an idea or an emotion that affects other people.

“I want them [people] to realize that you can look at things from different angles, and it changes the perspective of everything in life,” said Claybrook. “Like my photography, I started looking at things differently, and I thought about some of the situations that were happening in my life. What if I just thought of it in a whole different way? And by doing that, a lot of stress was relieved.”

Claybrook has artwork shown in various exhibitions. He has won awards such as the Marydorsey Wanless Photographic Arts Award in the 2018 Washburn Art Students Exhibition. To learn more about him and his artwork, visit

Edited by Jessica Galvin, Adam White, Jackson Woods