Since January I have been working as a photographer on the Imaging team working to digitise the Mary Hamilton Archive for the Unlocking the Mary Hamilton Papers project, which has been amazing to work on and one that I’m looking forward to finding more about as it progresses.
One of the key factors when photographing objects in this way is accuracy and consistency. Lighting, background and settings are the same for each object, presenting the items as ‘objectively’ as possible.
As a practicing artist alongside my role as a photographer, I’m interested in the aesthetic qualities and life cycles of objects. My work is based around experimental drawing and often consists of collage, assemblage and printmaking, creating mainly abstract works; an opposite way of working to my role digitising the Mary Hamilton archive.
I wanted to test out elements of my own practice by exploring the visual elements of the Mary Hamilton archive, seeing the letters as objects in their own right and adding my subjective viewpoint and picking out small elements such as ink spills, marks and signs of history.
I wanted to play around with them as I would an analogue collage, so I made a series of crops, highlighting interesting sections that may have been missed and made digital collages comprised of elements of them whilst keeping some of the conventions of cultural object photography in place.