Photography and Local History
After graduating with a degree in the History of Art (University of East Anglia), I worked as an archaeological finds researcher, and then as a professional freelance indexer.
A serious interest in photography developed after buying a digital SLR for capturing re-enactments by the Fairfax Battalia of the English Civil War Society and the Tudor Group: an interest in history intertwined with a fascination for shadow and light. I have photographed re-enactment events staged by EventPlan and English Heritage and others, and also local events in my home county of Worcestershire (such as Oak Apple Day), and in Cornwall (such as Mazey Day in Penzance and Truro City of Lights).
An MA Photography course (2007-9) at University College Falmouth in Cornwall was a great experience. I responded to the Cornish environment by combining photography with stories collected by folklorists such as Robert Hunt and William Bottrell in the 19th century. Hunt was also involved in the early development of photography. I'm an Associate of the Royal Photographic Society (ARPS), and a member of the Folklore Society.
I mainly use a digital camera, and occasionally a monochrome film camera. The majority of the photos on this website have not been altered or manipulated on a computer. As I often shoot in low light, small adjustments sometimes have to be made to digital images, but mainly I prefer to use natural light and shadows, and 'tricks of the light' to produce images to suggest the uncanny and the odd; stories come from the images, and some will be included on this website, or you can make up your own.
A project involving taking images throughout the year in a young woodland was featured in a solo exhibition at Number 8 Community Arts Centre in Pershore, in 2012; a selection of these will be uploaded to the website.
I am now a volunteer at Croome Court, a National Trust property about 4 miles from Pershore. Photographs of the Court and landscape park will be uploaded soon. I'm currently researching the Croome Estate during the Great War, and will be including items from that research on this website in advance of final publication.
Guest lecturer to BA English Literature students at the University of Exeter, Cornwall Campus: Cornish Victorian Ghost Stories and Photography.
Speaker at Mysticism, Myths and Celtic Nationalism conference, University College Falmouth (2010): 'Cornish myths and photography'.
Speaker at Myths, Legends and Folklore conference, Cardiff University (2011).
Speaker at After Grimm: Fairy Tales and the Art of Storytelling conference, Kingston University, Surrey (September 2012): ' "Touchstones for other re-tellings": folklore, and photography, in Cornwall and Devon'.
Speaker at Popular Antiquities: Folklore and Archaeology, Institute of Archaeology, London (2013):
' "Unlucky for mortals to meddle": folklore and the preservation of Cornwall's prehistoric antiquities'.
Panel Speaker at Home, Food and Family in WW1, Women's History Network, Avoncroft (2016):
The Croome 100 Project - Life on the Croome Estate during WW1'.
English Civil War, Newark (solo exhibitions at two venues).
Contributor to War exhibition, including the English Civil War, Royal Museum of Denmark.
'Light Rain', MA Photography Exhibition, Dray Walk Gallery, London, 2008.
'Half Stop', The Poly Gallery, Falmouth, 2009.
MA Photography Exhibition, University College Falmouth, 2009.
'Falmouth MA Photography', London Metropolitan University Gallery, Whitechapel High Street, London, 2009.
'Cornish Folklore and Photography', University of Exeter, Cornwall Campus (Tremough), and at the Cornwall Centre, Redruth, 2010.
'Taking time to pause: the year in a young woodland', Number 8 Community Arts Centre, High Street, Pershore, Worcs, 15 November - 5 December 2012..
'Croome During the Great War' , Friends of Croome Newsletter, No.15, Spring 2015, pp.4-5.
'C.J. Coventry: Katia and Beyond', Friends of Croome Newsletter, No.24, Spring 2016, pp.6-7.
'Preserving Fruit and Making Jam' in Andrews, M. and Waugh, J. (eds), How the Pershore Plum Won The Great War, The History Press, 2016 (in press).
See also www.pastimage.com
I can be contacted via the Contact Form or at
NOSPAM [email protected] (delete NOSPAM before sending).
Susanne Atkin MA, ARPS