I am an AHRC-funded collaborative doctoral award student (University of Westminster/ National Portrait Gallery) researching women’s practice of studio portraiture in Britain between 1888 – 1938.
I hold a BA (Hons) in English and Art History and an interdisciplinary Master’s degree in Literature and Visual Culture 1700 – 1900 from the University of Sussex. My MA dissertation, supervised by Professor Lindsay Smith, titled ‘Feeling Into the Image: Haptic Visuality and Empathic Proximity in Nineteenth-and Early-Twentieth-Century Women’s Photography’, considered portraits by Julia Margaret Cameron, Clementina Hawarden, Gertrude Käsebier and Imogen Cunningham in relation to the gendered dynamics of vision.
After graduating in 2015 I worked with Photoworks, HOUSE Festival and Brighton Photo Biennial in various freelance roles and ran an evening course on feminist interventions in art history at The New School of Art.
In the year prior to beginning my doctoral research I worked as a curatorial assistant and research technician for the Dalziel Project, an AHRC-funded project based at the University of Sussex and the British Museum about the most substantial wood engraving firm in Victorian London: Dalziel Brothers (active 1839 -1893).
Together with Terence Pepper I edit the Instagram account ‘Sisters of the Lens’, a celebration of unknown and little-recognised amateur and professional women photographers working between 1840 – 1940 (www.instagram.com/sistersofthelens).
Working closely with the National Portrait Gallery’s collection and archive, my PhD conducts a reappraisal of the importance of women’s professionalised photographic work to histories of artistic production and histories of labour through a feminist framework. My research considers the aesthetic, commercial and political dimensions of women’s practice of studio portraiture and examines the relationship between their practice and changing constructions of femininity in British society from the 1880s to the 1930s.
Key photographers: Lizzie Caswall-Smith, Lallie Charles, Lena Connell, Olive Edis, Alice Hughes, Rita Martin, Kate Pragnell, Ramsey & Muspratt, Dorothy Wilding, Madame Yevonde.
- Nineteenth- and early-twentieth-century photography
- Studio portraiture and commercial photography
- Feminist and queer theory/ approaches to art history
- Archival research
- Forms of artistic and commercial collaboration