The Book of Backgrounds

The Book of backgrounds, was created as part of my PhD research at the Centre of Photographic History, BBK. Using archive practices, the body of work examines the construction of English studio photographs, made in the mid 19th Century. It looks at the photographic studio as a space of performance, in which aspirations are enacted.
The selected works illustrate the emphasis of the research, the photographic studio as a conceptual framework.(Selected works are shown on the site)


This background is intended for private and non-professional persons, and there is also a pillar and curtain – but who are those for? What is the profession of that unhappy and misguided wretch who is supposed to pass his life in a perpetual environment of pillar and curtain?
Charles Dickens 1862:163

The Deportment Guide
The pose of a lady should not have that boldness of action which you would give a man but be modest and retiring, the arms describing gentle curves, and feet never apart.
Audrey Linkman 1993:46

Installation shot, Four Corners, London 2021