Centre for West Midlands History talk about Photography and Electroplate in 1840s Birmingham

I'm looking forward to presenting my research into Photography and Electroplate in 1840s Birmingham at the Centre for West Midlands History at University of Birmingham on Thursday 15th June from 7 - 8.30pm, online.

This talk discusses findings from my recent Midlands for Cities PHD placement at Science Museum. 

To book please follow the Eventbrite link below;

New research featured on National Media Museum website

I'm pleased to share that a breif outline and introduction to my current research into the daguerreotype and electroplate in 1840s Birmingham has been featured on Media Museum's Objects and Stories website.

This article is a brief introduction to a full academic paper which will be published in the Autumn issue of Science Museum's journal.

The article is available on the link below;

This research was produced on a recent PhD placement with Science Museum, funded by Midlands for Cities doctoral training partnership.

image courtesy Birmingham Museums Trust CCO

Portrait project at Nuneaton Library - seeking participants

I'm very excited to announce that I've been commissioned to make a new series of portraits with the large scale nineteenth century studio camera. 

I'm now looking for people to take part in this photographic project to record stories of objects and environments from the local area. I'm looking for people to share a broad range of everyday stories about the interaction between people and their environments and objects that might be particularly relevant to Nuneaton and Bedworth.

These portraits will form part of a larger body of work looking at our connection to places and materials through photography. The resulting images and prints will be exhibited at Nuneaton Library in July 2023 and Compton Verney Art Gallery and Park in October 2023.

To take part you’ll need to commit to being involved in three sessions to help produce your part of the artwork that will be shared publicly.

  1. Initially your portrait will be made at Nuneaton Library on a large scale nineteenth century studio camera using a historic photographic process from 1851 involving glass plates. This process takes around an hour.
  1. Following this, a further conversation will be held in the location that holds your memories.
  1. Print-based artwork to document these stories will then be produced in workshop sessions at Nuneaton Library, or in Jo Gane’s studio on Bulkington Lane, Nuneaton.

To get involved

Please email details of the story you’d like to contribute about your experiences of place and objects in Nuneaton and Bedworth, including your name and preferred contact details.

further details are available here.

Recreating Talbot Prints at the Bodleian, Oxford

I've been working on a commission which has just opened at the Bodleian library in Oxford as part of the exhibition 'Bright Sparks : Photography and the Talbot Archive.'

I have re-made a calotype negative and salt print of Talbot's 'Unknown Saint' using congruent photo-chemistry and processes to those Talbot was working with in the 1840s.

The print was orginally comissioned as the Talbot image contained too much silver and was too light sensitive to be shown. The act of re-making it with the orginal 15th century glass was really special and illuminates the materiality of Talbot's work in new, tactile ways.

I reflect on the process for the audio guide here

The exhibition runs until 18th June 2023 and the negative, print and notebook containing my experiments has been accessioned and will be held in the Talbot Archive at the Bodleian.

Beyond Silver at the Hive, Jewellery Quarter

I'm pleased to be exhibiting some new and old work in the exhibition Beyond Silver at The Hive in Birmingham's jewellery quarter from 19th January - 10th February 2023.

Exhibition Text by Hannah Fletcher;

Metals and minerals are of the earth - extracted, purified, dried, cut, mould, extruded, dissolved and filtered. Photographic images are of the earth, they are metals and minerals, polished, coated, sensitised, exposed, developed, washed, fixed, displayed. We rely on the sensitivity of these metals to depict the world around us, the earth that they come from. 

Silver has taken a leading role in this history - it is a history of colonisation, extraction, and depiction. From Louis Daguerre’s Daguerreotypes to Henry Fox Talbot’s calotypes in the early 1800s, to today's digital Chromogenic prints - silver is seen as unbeatable when it comes to making a quality, archivable photographic image. However, silver is not the only metal used for image making.

The London Alternative Photography Collective present “Beyond Silver”, an exhibition that explores the relationships between analogue photography and metallurgy. The exhibition will consider the use of silver in photography, as well as shining a light on many of the other metals that are used within photographic image production, in both historical and contemporary practice. In addition to silver, the exhibition will include works which utilise  lesser known metals in photography including iron, copper, tin, aluminium, platinum and palladium.

Exhibiting artists: Ignacio Acosta, Victoria Ahrens, William Arnold, Alex Boyd, Alice Cazenave, Caitriona Dunnett, Hannah Fletcher, Jo Gane, Kate Goodrich, Martha Gray, Charlotte Greenwood, Constanza Isaza,Elissa Jane Diver, Soham Joshi, Melanie King, Liane Lang, Sara Mulvey, Andrés Pardo, Oliver Raymond-Barker, Megan Ringrose, Kris Skyla, Sayako Sugawara, Diego Valente, Eileen White

Further information about the exhibition is available on the link here


Exhibition of glass plates at Coventry Cathedral

Large scale glass plate portraits from our collaborative portrait project, 'My New Brain' made with the wet plate collodion process will be exhibited at Coventry Cathedral from 2nd - 5th March 2023.

The project aims to celebrate the resiliance of people's experiences of neurodiversity and stroke and raise awareness of the impact of this. It was planned by friend and co-collaborator Jason Scott Tilley following his experience of stroke during the covid lockdowns and his resulting vascular dementia. The process of making the portraits allowed for a sharing of experiences and technical development of photographic skills.

The exhibition explores the material of glass in the installation within the space of the Wyley Chapel. The chapel is an important space to the Cathedral but is rarely opened. It was used for the Christmas service in 1940 following the blitz by Provost Howard which was broadcast worldwide and is well known for its message of reconciliation.

Further information about the exhibition is here and more images and experiences that were shared during the project can be viewed on my website here.

This project was made possible by funding support from Heart of England Community Foundation.

'My New Brain' portrait exhibition at Common Ground, Coventry

In April 2022 I worked with photographer Jason Scott Tilley at the Old Grammar School, Coventry to produce a series of portraits for Jason’s project titled ‘My New Brain.’ These portraits are now on show at Common Ground, Coventry until 6th November 2022.

The project aimed to raise awareness through the visual stories of the lived experience of those with neurodiversity and stroke.

During the Covid lockdowns in 2020 -21, Coventry photographer Jason Tilley survived a series of strokes which led to vascular dementia and a change in cognitive functioning. This gave Jason a ‘New Brain.’

As a photographer, Jason conceived of this project as a way of understanding this change through a process of communication with others who have had similar experiences.

The project was funded by Heart of England Foundation and I’m grateful to those who shared their time and their stories generously to make these images.

Re-Making Exhibition at Foundation BAAD, Rotterdam

I'm excited to be showing some of my calotype photographs as large scale prints at Foundation BAAD in Rotterdam. The exhibition in the window spaces will be on from 19th June 2022 - 31st July 2022. It includes work by the following artists and researchers using recreative practices.

  • Peter Domankiewicz
  • Jo Gane
  • Carolin Lange
  • Brittany Brighouse
  • Janou Munnik
  • Eelco Roelsma

This exhibition shares practices of re-making. Re-making as a research method, as photography, and as digitisation. We re-photograph, re-film, re-tread, re-construct, re-perform and re-transform to make sense of the past. The individual works look at the odd and forgotten practices of photography and film, at side paths of colour photography, errors in science and in digitisation, and the transformation of archive material into the digital.

Interdisciplinary workshop on recreative practices paper presentation

I presented my current PhD work at the interdisciplinary workshop on recreative practices held at De Montfort university in June 2022. The workshop was a fascinating two days which usefully discussed the role of recreative practice in a wide range of fields. The proceedings are now available online here - including a wealth of interesting talks.

My work on re-treading the steps of calotype photographs made by George Shaw and John Percy in Packington Park was the subject of a presentation on Day 1 in panel 2 which can be viewed on the workshop website here.

Don't Press Print publication and exhibition

I'm pleased to share that my paper titled 'Time-travel and public engagement through the performance of processes' presented at the Don't Press Print : De/Re-constructing the collodion process conference organised by the Centre for Fine Print research at UWE and the Royal Photographic Society has now been published in their book.

It is available to purchase here.

A print from the Birmingham series of work discussed in this paper will be included in an exhibition at the Impact 12 conference at UWE from 21st - 25th September 2022. 

Natural Horizons conference talk on the landscape of Packington Park

I spoke about my emerging PhD project which involved exploring the landscape at Packington Park at the Natural Horizons conference on 24th February 2022.

This can be viewed via the link here

The talk discusses work re-tracing the steps taken by George Shaw and John Percy when they photographed in Packington Park alongside painters from the Birmingham school in the 1840s and 1850s.

Cyanotype workshops

I'm leading two cyanotype workshops at Stourbridge Glass Museum where participants will have the opportunity to msake prints inspired by the Portland vase.

The workshops take place on 17th April 2022 and 10th July 2022 from 11.00am until 12.30pm. For more information and to book see the Glass Museum website link here.

I'll also be offering drop in cyanotype making in Warstone Lance Cemetary, Birmingham as part of the Jewellery Quarter Cemetaries Project's activities for the JQ festival on 23rd Julky 2022.

Talk on George Shaw for Jewellery Quarter Cemeteries

The talk that I gave for the Jewellery Quarter Cemetaries project on George Shaw (1818 - 1904) photographic pioneer in Birmingham is now online, available via the link here on the Jewellery Quarter Cemetaries Project website.

This talk took place on 21st July 2021

George Shaw online talk and in-person workshop

I've been invited by the Jewellery Quarter Cemetaries Project to talk about the life of George Shaw (1817-1904) who is laid to rest in Key Hill Cemetary. 

Shaw was one of Birmingham's first photographers and a very well connected and interesting figure in Victorian Birmingham.

This talk will discuss Shaw's life and works and also new photographic artwork produced in response to Shaw's practice, using historic processes.

The talk will take place on Wednesday 21st July from 6.30 - 7.30 pm online through zoom.

Alongside this, I'll be running a hands-on workshop in the Cyanotype photographic process at Warstone Lane Cemetary on 11th August, with the opportunity for participants to make their own prints inspired by natural forms within the cemetary.

For more details and to book, please visit;


Cyanotype workshop:

Workshops coming in July 2021

I'm excited that workshops are starting to be able to happen again, both online and in-person and I've got several workshops planned throughout July.

Thursday July 22nd, 3pm: Cardboard Viewfinders workshop (online) with Festival of Curiosity. Physical resource packs of materials will be posted out to participants prior to the workshops. 

Friday July 23rd, 10am: Cyanotype printmaking workshop (online) with Festival of Curiosity. Physical resource packs of materials will be posted out to participants prior to the workshops. 

Monday July 26th, 11 - 1pm: Cyanotype workshop with Mothers Who Make, Coventry x Coventry Biennale at the War Memorial Park (IN PERSON!) 

Thursday 29th July 11 - 3.30pm: Pinhole Photography and Cyanotype workshops (In Person!) with B37 Project at Meriden Adventure Playground in Chelmsley Wood.

For more information and to book in for any of these please follow the links. I'm looking forward to these!

Culture on the Move Coventry

A project that I had the privilege of working on - 'Culture on the Move' produced by Imagineer in 2020 exploring the history of migration in Coventry has now been showcased online.

Pupils explored the themes of migration and identity within their home city through a series of photographic workshops where they used a variety of processes to reflect upon themselves and their futures in Coventry.

The work was originally intended to be an exhibition in March 2020, but instead has been livestreamed for an online St Patricks Day celebration in 2021.

A video of the full proceedings is available here. To view the photography work, begin watching at 59 minutes.

RPS Collodion Conference - Don't Press Print

I'm excited to be presenting a paper at the Royal Photographic Society's upcoming conference about wet plate collodion photography "Don't Press Print' on 1st and 2nd October 2020.

There is a fantastic range of experienced speakers, both historians and practitioners and I'm really honoured to be joining them. I'll be talking about how working with wet plate on a 2009 project (see Birmingham in the projects section of this site) has shaped more recent work with the Elephant Trap Camera. I'll also be sharing my thoughts about photographing with an analogue or historic process becomes a performance and feels like time-travel.

Further details of the conference and how to book can be found here.

Camera Obscura making pack for Barber@Home

I've produced a free PDF pack about how to make Camera Obscura with the Barber Institute of Fine Arts at University of Birmingham. This was made as part of their online exhibition 'Sights of Wonder' which shows images from pioneering Victorian photographer Francis Bedford's Royal Tour of Egypt, accompanying Prince Albert in 1862.

The activity includes an illustrated guide on how to make cardboard and room sized camera obscura using materials that you have around the house.

The PDF packs can be accessed here.

Online Camera Obscura workshop with St Matthews primary school

I really enjoyed delivering a recent online workshop in making cardboard camera obscura for St Matthews Primary school in Nechells, Birmingham. The teachers and pupils from year 6 were fantastic to work with and really enthusiastic about exploring the cardboard devices they made. A you-tube video of the workshop is now available here.

The workshop was organised by Matthew Murray as part of the public engagement for his Arenig, Fawr project the workshop was presented in association with Birmingham Trees for Life

Coventry Creates

I've been commissioned by Coventry City of Culture to work with Centre for Cultural & Media Policy Studies, Warwick University and the Centre for Agroecology, Water and Resilience, Coventry University, and to test an arts and humanities approach to river regeneration and cultural values of water.

This project will involve making new images on the River Sherbourne in the area where it becomes hidden from view around Spon End Coventry. I'll be continuing to develop the approach I've been using on the River Cole in Birmingham, shooting with the Calotype process from 1841 during the day and making nocturnal photograms of the flow patterns of the water.

The images will be part of an online exhibition that will be live from 10th July 2020. Images will also be shared via postcards which will be sent to the area in which the images were made.

Please share images of the River Sherbourne and how you use it with us on Twitter and Instagram using the hastag #hiddenrivercov.

Work from this commission can be seen here.

Faye Claridge's Stay at Home Residency : New Art Gallery Walsall

Like most of the country, during lockdown I've been adapting to working from home with my children, aged 3 and 6. As such, we were invited by artist Faye Claridge to take part in her residency for New Art Gallery Walsall, where she has asked artist parents to work with their children for them to make something inspired by their parent's artwork.

The kids looked at my work, choosing the series Machines from 2014 and made a response using string, shadows and paint. The shadows also reminded me of some photograms I produced from architectural details in 2016 here.

Further responses that my kids made to my work, and others who participated in the project can be seen on the New Art Gallery website here.


Arts Council England - Covid 19 fund

I'm relieved to have been awarded funding from Arts Council England's Covid emergency grant, which will enable me to continue to practice and survive throughout the pandemic lockdown. This funding is crucial in bridging the current gap with no regular income as most of my work for the next few months has been cancelled.

I'll be using this funding to learn how to make Salt prints using a period recipe from the 1840s, with help online from a friend Rob Douglas who has supported me and taught me to make Calotypes over the past few years.

I'll be printing images of the River Cole from an ongoing project inspired by period Calotypes of the same river by George Shaw (1817-1904). I'll be sharing my progress on this through Instagram @jo.gane1 and this will result in a physical album of the work to date that will be shared as a video.

Imagine Bedworth

I'm collaborating with Photo Archive Miners on a new iteration of our Elephant Trap camera project in Bedworth, Warwickshire from February - May 2022. We will be responding to an archive of photographs from local historian John Burton by photographing around the town centre and markets with the Elephant Trap. 

In April,* we will be working with Bedworth Almshouses to photograph residents with a huge 19th Century studio camera and wet plate collodion which is being restored for this project by our friend and talented colleague, cabinet maker Jamie Hubbard.

The resulting work will be exhibited with the archive images outside in All Saints Square in the town and within the Heritage Centre throughout May.*

Public workshops will be held at Bedworth Arts Centre.

  • 2nd April 1-3pm, Cyanotype Printing*
  • 6th April 12-3pm, Pinhole Photography*

image of studio camera by Helen Billington

*update - due to Covid 19, this did not happen and we are looking at options to reschedule this activity.

Elephant Trap Camera

Throughout the winter of 2019/20 I've been working on a project in Willenhall, Coventry making and photographing with a unique camera we have designed and produced which blends heritage, cabinet making and performance. 

The project has been produced with Photo Archive Miners and the fantastic team of Jason Scott Tilley, Jamie Hubbard, Mahendra Patel and Johnny Bark.

More details are on the projects page here

Coventry Future Voices

I've been fortunate to work with the wonderful Photo Archive Miners and a group of year 6 John Gulson primary school pupils for a Coventry University project which asked the children to imagine what their futures in the city of Coventry might look like.

The project allowed me to help the pupils use hands-on analogue Photography processes to build up their ideas and create a portrait using Cyanotypes, Pinhole Photography and Large Format Film over three sessions.

The resulting artwork has been shown as part of Coventry University's 175 years launch event and can be seen on hoardings around the city centre, opposite the Herbert Art Gallery.

Cyanotype image by Jasmine aged 9.

New work in progress exploring Drawing and early Photography

I'm thrilled to have been awarded funding from Arts Council England to spend the next year exploring links between early Photography and Drawing inspired by the work of Victorian painter Frederick Henry Henshaw and early photographer George Shaw. Drawing upon knowledge discovered by the late Pete James.

The new work responds to images of the River Cole by both artists. 

Further updates will follow. For ongoing news as this project develops please see my Twitter feed @jo_gane

Lapworth Lates / Light Crystal

I have been making new work in response to the Lapworth Museum's Mineral Wealth collection exploring the way in which the collection refracts light ready for an opening on 19th July as part of their first Lapworth Lates event.

The new work includes both print based photograms and etchings alongside a new sculptural piece.

There will also be the opportunity to make a photogram print of your own at the launch event.

For further details about Lapworth Lates please see the link here

The new work is on my projects page here

Ikon Gallery workshops

I'll be delivering several alternative process photography workshops at Ikon Gallery as part of the education programme for their latest exhibition, 'In Place of Hate' by Edmund Clarke.

Family workshops in pinhole photography are happening on Tuesday 20th and Thursday 22nd February.

I'll also be leading their creative teacher's retreat on 20th January which will enable teachers to learn how to use pinhole and cyanotype photographic techniques in their classrooms.

For further details and to book, please see the gallery website here

images created by Jaskirt Boora using a pinhole drinks can at the creative teacher's retreat

A White House on Paradise Street

My exhibition, A White House on Paradise Street is currently running at BOM (Birmingham Open Media), 1 Dudley Street, Birmingham until 19th August. The exhibition is open from 12-5pm Wednesdays - Sundays until 19th August 2017.

For further information about the exhibition please see

A White House on Paradise Street

17th June  – 19th August 2017

Jo Gane in collaboration with Pete James and Leon Trimble

This project is inspired by the absence of what has been claimed by some writers to be the first photographic image made in Birmingham and potentially the first image made in England using the daguerreotype process*1. The image is said to have depicted a White House on Paradise Street and is thought to have been made by George Shaw in late August or early September 1839.

This new artwork by Jo Gane in collaboration with photographic historian Pete James and digital artist Leon Trimble combines historic and contemporary techniques to extend the latent possibilities of this missing image.

In response to research by Pete James, the exhibition places small time-machine camera devices around the city in locations relevant to key moments and events in the early history of photography in Birmingham. These devices are constructed using historic techniques in mahogany by master cabinetmaker Jamie Hubbard, to resemble the Wolcott daguerreotype camera patented in 1840. Leon Trimble has hacked the cameras with Raspberry Pi’s, making them able to live stream analogue images from inside the camera back into the gallery space and online. As time machines, these devices mine the contemporary landscape to make visible the history of the city’s role as the ‘midwife to the birth of photography’*2 in the early 19th Century.

Alongside the live streams of indistinct, soft images from within the camera devices, which are reminiscent of even earlier attempts to produce photographic images a series of sharp, detailed new Daguerreotypes by Jo Gane produced at Mike Robinson’s Century Darkroom render fragments of what may have been visible on Shaw’s original Daguerreotype plate into focus within this new digital landscape, inspired by fragments of the past.

*1 Daguerreotypes are one of the first methods of making a photograph invented in August 1839 by Louis Daguerre in Paris, using a highly polished sheet of silver plated copper which is made light sensitive by fuming over iodine then developed with hot mercury before gilding with a gold chloride solution to produce one-off images that appear as if they are a ‘mirror with a memory’.

*2 from Birmingham Reminisces (Second Series) ‘The Pioneers of Photography in Birmingham,’ Birmingham Daily Mail, 28th January 1880

image by Nick Hynan Photography 



Developed in Birmingham

The programme for Developed in Birmingham is now live at

Developed in Birmingham is a season of hands-on workshops, talks, walks and events which reveal, explore and celebrate the city’s significant role in the early history of photography. 

The programme connects and expands on two complementary exhibitions in Birmingham; Thresholds, a virtual reality exhibition by Mat Collishaw and A White House on Paradise Street by Jo Gane with Pete James and Leon Trimble. Developed in Birmingham presents a variety of exciting events in a range of venues and public spaces across the city.

The season of events has been made possible by funding from Arts Council England, University of Birmingham, Argentea Gallery and Millennium Point and is supported by BOM (Birmingham Open Media), Waterstones, Wild in Art and Birmingham Children’s Hospital Charity, Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery and neighbouring development, Paradise.

image: Daguerreotype of George Shaw c.1840

A White House on Paradise Street / Developed in Birmingham

Things are now progressing at a pace with the project A White House on Paradise Street to launch at BOM (Birmingham Open Media) on 16th June 2017.

We have had additional funding confirmed from Arts Council England to run a whole summer programme of events and activities around early Photography in Birmingham which will be titled Developed in Birmingham. There are some really exciting things planned.

Two new websites are in development and links shall be posted once they go live, shortly.

Continue watching this space for updates.

University of Birmingham Pinhole workshop

I'll be leading a pinhole photography workshop at University of Birmingham's Research and Cultural Collections Study Centre on Wednesday 7th June from 2-5pm.

The workshop will allow participants to use recycled materials to construct a working analogue pinhole camera which can be used to photograph the area around the Research and Cultural Collections Study Centre, particularly exploring links to the history of women at the University. Analogue negative images will be made on silver gelatin paper that will be processed during the workshop using a small portable darkroom, then ‘printed’ using your own smartphone technology.

There will also be the opportunity to explore the photographic collections, including historic analogue cameras and diverse photographic archives, held by Research and Cultural Collections.

For more information and to book, please visit the University website here.

This event is part of the programme accompanying the exhibition Making Space: Celebrating Women at the University of Birmingham.  

Leamington Spa Museum and Gallery Pinhole workshop

I'm leading a pinhole Photography workshop at Leamington Spa Museum and Gallery which will allow participants to photograph the landscape surrounding the gallery using a pinhole camera made from a recycled drinks can and develop images in my portable darkroom.

The workshop runs on Saturday 3rd June from 11-4pm.

For more details and to book please visit the museum website here. 

Historic Cameras with Liz Hingley for Making Space at University of Birmingham

I have spent a wonderful few weeks working at the Research and Cultural Collections study centre at University of Birmingham, alongside photographer Liz Hingley to create images using antique cameras for the exhibition Making Space: Celebrating Women at the University of Birmingham.

I have greatly enjoyed spending time at the RCC known affectionatley as Redmarley, a beautiful house which houses a fascinating collection within a welcoming domestic space.

It was a priviledge to be able to work on such an inspiring project with a driven group of talented women. Working on the project was made particularly special as I was able to work with my new 4 month old daughter, blurring the boundaries of work and family in a way which felt like the ideal working situation.

Here is an image of Liz with my daughter Minnie taken as a quick exposure test, which I feel captures the special atmosphere of the project.

I am hoping to produce more work here in the future, watch this space.

Private Commission based on Alternative Suns

I have produced the first new image in almost 10 years for the Alternative Suns series as a private commission for a client from McDermott galleries who remembered the original series when it was shown in the city in 2007.

I greatly enjoyed re-visiting the work and spending some contemplative nights in the Alvechurch countryside with a large format camera and slide sheet film creating the image below, which has been printed at a large scale for the client's beautiful Georgian home.

Light Painting Workshops

I've greatly enjoyed teaching light painting workshops, allowing young people to draw with light by using slow exposure Photography at Birmingham Museum as part of the programme of events for the Hundreds and Thousands exhibition. 

Children danced and ran excitedly to make some fantastic explosive images whilst older teenagers and adults were able to write and drawing a more measured, controlled way.

Here is one of my favourite lively images made by dancing young children.

Two new Pinhole Photography Workshops

I'm pleased to be getting back to teaching workshops after a short break for a new baby, I'll be leading two pinhole photography workshops in early June at Leamington Spa Art Gallery and Museum on Saturday 3rd June from 11am - 6pm and University of Birmingham on Wednesday 7th June from 2-5pm.

For more details and to book please follow the links above.

A White House on Paradise Street

A collaborative exhibition by Jo Gane, Pete James and Leon Trimble to launch in May 2017

This exhibition is inspired by the absence of what has been claimed by some writers to be the first photographic image made in Birmingham. Some of these same authors have also suggested that this was potentially the first daguerreotype made in England.

Using apparatus imported from France, the image - said to depict a White House on Paradise Street - is thought to have been made by George Shaw in late August or early September 1839. Shaw’s role as a patent agent, professor of chemistry and his position within scientific and commercial circles in and beyond Birmingham have led some to speculate that he was able to access privileged early information about Daguerre’s invention and to use this to make this important yet enigmatic image.

In response to research by Pete James and working in collaboration with BOM Fellow, Leon Trimble, Jo Gane is making new work that combines historic and contemporary techniques and extends the latent possibilities of this missing image.

The exhibition places small Time Machines around the city in locations relevant to key moments and events in the early history of photography in Birmingham. These Time Machine devices resemble the historic Wolcott daguerreotype camera yet are powered by Raspberry Pi’s and have the capability to live stream images that are not fixed photographically from within the camera. They mine the contemporary landscape to make visible the history of the city’s role as the midwife to the birth of photography in the early 19th Century.

Alongside the live stream of indistinct, soft images from within the camera devices, which are reminiscent of even earlier attempts to produce photographic images a series of sharp, detailed new Daguerreotypes on show in the gallery render fragments of what may have been visible on Shaw’s original Daguerreotype plate into focus within this new digital landscape inspired by fragments of the past.

This project will be presented as part of a series of collaborative and companion exhibitions and projects brought together by BOM that explores the early history of photography, including ‘Thresholds’ by Mat Collishaw which will be shown simultaneously at Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery.

This exhibition has been made possible by funding from Arts Council England's Grants for the Arts

Time Machines exhibition opens at Mead Gallery, Warwick Arts Centre

I've curated a room titled 'Time Machines' about cameras and the history of photographic processes for Warwick Arts Centre's latest exhibition at Mead Gallery '1/125 of a Second' by Dublin based artist, Gerard Byrne which runs from 16th January - 12th March 2016. 

The exhibition area takes inspiration from Gerard Byrne’s interest in the mechanisms behind imagery and how these evolve with our thinking over time. It aims to shed light on how photographic processes have developed from the Camera Obscura to the present day, along with where Photography may be headed in the future.

It includes several activities that visitors can get involved with, from making a fake daguerreotype to producing a collage using materials inspired by the exhibition to be displayed in the space or taken home. The room also contains a mini camera obscura cupboard that can be used as a drawing device, with your drawing then being hung in the space as part of an interactive diagram, produced by Birmingham Camera Obscura.

Also outside there is a shed that has been converted to function as a camera obscura which will be open on sunny days so that you can experience standing inside a camera and view the upside down projections created simply by the action of light.

I'll be running some workshops at the Mead in Pinhole photography during February half term, along with the fantastic team from Birmingham Camera Obscura, Pete Ashton and Jenny Duffin. Dates are as follows;

  • Tuesday 16th February, 12-5pm: Camera Obscura drop in sessions
  • Wednesday 17th February 1-3pm: Family Pinhole Photography workshop - booking required
  • Saturday 20th February 1-3pm: Advanced Pinhole Photography workshop - booking required.

For more details and to book, please follow the link to the gallery website here.

Open Daguerreotype talk and partial demo

I'll be talking about the progress on my project to make some Daguerreotypes, pitfalls of the process and demonstrating what I'm up to with working with this tricky but fascinating process at.

BOM (Birmingham Open Media),

1 Dudley St,

B5 4EG

On Wednesday 30th September 2015 between 11.30 am - 1.30 pm.



The JHB Archive 23/1961 or 28/1961 opens at BOM

Private View: 10th September 2015

Exhibition Runs 11th September - 3rd October 2015

Open Tues - Sat 10.30 - 5pm

23/1961 or 28/1961 is an exhibition inspired by the possibilities of a missing sculpture made by Julian Henry Beck (1914-2012) a Midlands based artist, engineer and photographer. The sculpture was purchased by Nuneaton Museum in the 1960s and accessioned into their permanent collection but has since disappeared, leaving behind only a truncated record of its description and location.

The artists included in the exhibition were selected from an open call that invited responses to make new works based around the data available about the sculpture.

Associated Events:

Curators talk / tour - Wednesday 16th September


Open Submission Selected Artists for BOM Exhibition

I'm pleased to announce that I'll be working with the following artists as part of the JHB Archive 23/1961 or 28/1961 exhibition at BOM in September.

Alison Carlier
Briony Clarke
Christoph Bangert
David Penny
Dorothea Nold
Giada Totaro
Jacqueline Butler
Jane Ball
Jane Hoodless
Janet Farahar
Karl Bielik
Kate V Robertson
Katherine di Turi
Michael Lightbourne
Pete Ashton
Sayako Sugawara
Steve Carrick
Tete de Alencar
Tom Milnes
Wiebke Leister

The artists have been selected by a panel consisting of Caitlin Griffiths, Myself and Karen Newman from an open submission opportunity funded by Arts Council England's Grants for the Arts.

The selected artists work in a diverse range of media and all artists presented a high quality and original proposal which responds to the brief of a sculpture belonging to JHB that was lost by Nuneaton Museum and now exists only as the data stored on the accession record, until September when the sculpture will be reimagined in 20 new forms.

The exhibition opens with a preview at BOM (Birmingham Open Media), 1 Dudley Street, Birmingham on 10th September from 6-8pm then runs from 11th September – 3rd October 2015.


Museum of London workshops

I'll be leading a workshop in pinhole photography this Saturday, 18th July at Museum of London as part of events surrounding their exhibition of work by Christina Broom, one of the first female photojournalists working at the turn of the century.

The workshop will give participants an insight into the techniques Broom was using as well as providing an opportunity for you to make and photograph with a cardboard pinhole box camera. The negative images produced will then be printed using both analogue and digital smartphone techniques.

For more details and to book please click here.


Swiss Cottage Gallery Pinhole photography workshop

I'll be running a free Pinhole photography workshop at Swiss Cottage Gallery as part of Cityread London on Sunday May 16th 2015. Come along for a chance to make your own camera using recycled materials and photograph the area around the gallery using slow exposures to create a ghostly vision of London which links with Cityread's focus on Ben Aaronovitch's 'Rivers of London'. More information is here.

BOM talk now online

A video of my talk at BOM on 10th April 2015 about the research I'm doing into Dags along with my project about Jo Beck's missing sculpture is now online, you can view it here

Project Daguerreotype Blog

I've set up the blog ProjectDag to record my progress as I begin to work with Daguerreotypes this year as the project is gaining momentum and needs its own space. 

You can access it here or at

Have a look to see the laser cut Wolcott camera I have recently created, courtesy of Guy Brown.

Open Submission Exhibition Opportunity

I'm pleased to invite submissions for a group exhibition of emerging to mid-career artists supported by Arts Council England's Grants for the Arts. The exhibition will be held at BOM (Birmingham Open Media) throughout September 2015. Selected artists will receive a fee of £300 to produce work for the exhibition. Work submitted must respond to the brief below, however the way in which work relates to the brief is left open to interpretation.


In 1961 Nuneaton Museum purchased a sculpture by Julian Henry Beck, an artist, engineer and photographer. This sculpture has since gone missing and all that remains is the truncated accession record. Artists are invited to produce a version of this sculpture in any media based upon the information that has been recorded. This may take any form and could also be based on more ephemeral elements of the sculpture such as what it would sound or smell like. As the accession record exists as digital data, submissions that interpret the data using digital technologies and processes are particularly encouraged.

For more details on how to apply please download the PDF here

BOM Research Talk

I'll be talking about the beginnings of my research into early photographic processes and a collaborative project to remake a lost sculpture by Julian Henry Beck on Friday 10th April 2015 at 12.30pm at BOM.

This talk was postponed from Wednesday 25th March due to unforseen circumstances.

For more details, please click here for more details on the BOM website.

Arts Council England Funding

I have been awarded funding from Arts Council England's Grants for the Arts scheme to support a new exhibition at Birmingham Open Media (BOM) in September and some research and development work into making Daguerreotypes.

The exhibition will be a collaborative group exhibition in which up to 25 artists working in a wide variety of media will recreate a lost sculpture by Julian Henry Beck, based on the accession data about the missing work held by Nuneaton Museum. The artists involved will be selected through an open submission process.

Further updates about this will follow shortly, watch this space.

BOM Fellowship

I'm excited to be working at BOM (Birmingham Open Media) throughout 2015 as one of their fellows, joining a hugely inspiring creative network. I'll be using the time and space to investigate historic processes and create new collaborative work in the JHB archive.

BOM is an amazing new art and technology space close to New Street Station where lots of very interesting things will be happening, for more details go to their website here.

Nuneaton Museum Exhibition

The exhibition of The JHB Archive at Nuneaton Museum in Riversley Park, Nuneaton is now open and runs from Saturday 1st November 2014 until Sunday 14th December 2014. Opening Times are as follows:

Monday: Closed
Tuesday - Saturday: 10.30am until 4.30pm
Sunday: 2.00pm until 4.30pm
Bank Holidays: 10.30am until 4.30pm
A closing event will be held in December, watch this space for updates.

Herbert Art Gallery Workshops

I'll be running a couple of events at the Herbert Museum and Art Gallery, Coventry as part of Jason Tilley's exhibition 'The People of India' which opens on 26th September 2014, Details are below - for more information and to book, please contact the gallery here

Pinhole Photography Workshop 

Saturday 25 October
11:00 to 4pm 
Photography does not require expensive cameras - this workshop offers an opportunity to make your own pinhole camera using recycled materials and photograph using this camera in the area surrounding the gallery. Using simply daylight and chemicals to make negative images that you can process during the course of the workshop. 
Historic Portrait Studio

Saturday 22 November

10:00 to 4:00

£5, drop-in.

A unique chance to make a portrait of yourself with photographer Jo Gane.  Using antique brass and wood cameras and the 19th century technique of wet collodian photography she will take your portrait and produce a one-off ambrotype image on metal. Put the magic back in the photography by taking part in the mysterious process that produces a distinctive portrait for you to keep.

Brighton Photo Fringe Open

New work from the series 'Machines for Modern Living' currently in progress have been selected along with 18 artists for a showcase as part of Brighton Photo Fringe which runs alongside the Brighton Photo Biennale.

The showcase will run from 4th October to 2nd November 2014. More information can be found here.

Photography and Installation Exhibition

I'll be exhibiting some new work, currently still in progress titled 'Machines for Moidern Living' as part of an exhibition exploring contemporary Photography and Installation at Oxford House in Bethnal Green, London from 6th - 14th October 2014. Join us for the private view on the evening of Tuesday 7th October.

Other photographers involved are LCC Alumni:

Diane Bielk, Elisa Noguera Lopez, Ella Bryant, Francesca Hitzeman, Ian Rudgewick Brown, Jochen Klein, Katja Meyer, Kevin Newark, Lydia Goldblatt, Marcella Simeone, Maria Garofova, Minna Pollanen, Pablo Antoli, Peter Ainsworth, Richard Kolker, Sara Wellenkamp, Sayako Sugawara, Teresa Eng, Michael Rodgers.

Lacock Abbey

I've just returned from a weekend shooting Wet Plate Collodion at Lacock Abbey, former home to photographic pioneer William Henry Fox Talbot and the location of the Fox Talbot Museum. 

I had a fantastic weekend renewing my interest in this magical process and creating some images for fun which may influence future projects, watch this space...

Many thanks to Tony Richards and Mark Voce for organising the weekend and inviting me.

Imprint Exhibition

'Imprint' curated by Claire Reece at Old House Museum, Bakewell

I will be showing some work from The JHB Archive series in an exhibition titled 'Imprint' curated by Claire Reece at Bakewell Old House Museum from 8th - 21st September 2014. The exhibition investigates the link between photography and memory and also includes works by Tugcce Karapinar, Hannah Mitchell and Lauren Spencer

Join us for the preview on Saturday the 13th of September 2014 between 4-6pm.

More information and directions can be found here

Mead Gallery Workshops completed

Many thanks to the Mead Gallery at Warwick Arts Centre for a lovely week working in the beautiful space of the Helen Martin studio with fantastic, helpful stewards.

All who attended had an interesting time and Primary school children from across the West Midlands were engaged by making their own pinhole cameras and shooting images inspired by the exhibition, 'All That is Solid Melts Into Air' in our historic portrait studio.

More images and feedback from participants can be found here.

Nuneaton Museum Exhibition

I'm currently making new documents for the JHB archve which will be shown at Nuneaton Museum and Art Gallery in Riversley Park from early November 2014, watch this space for further updates.

Mead Gallery Workshops

I'll be running some family pinhole and portrait photography based workshops at Warwick Arts Centre's Mead Gallery in May and June 2014 to run alongside an exhibition curated by Jeremy Deller 'All that is Solid Melts into Air'. Further details can be found here.

Library of Birmingham Photographers' Wall

An image from the JHB Archive will be shown at Library of Birmingham in their first Photographers' Wall show. 

The exhibition opens on Thursday 23rd January 2014 and runs until 18th April on the Mezzanine floor.

Further details can be found here

Nostalgia for the Future (Past) Catalogue

The exhibition at Roots gallery has now finished, however if you missed seeing the work in the flesh the full exhibition catalogue can be downloaded here.


Welcome to my new website

Welcome to my re-designed website, content is currently being uploaded and it will soon be fully up to date. I hope you enjoy looking around!