Study Visit to Lacock Abbey in Wiltshire and Seminar | The Open College of the Arts
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Study Visit to Lacock Abbey in Wiltshire and Seminar

The Theatre of Insects, installation view, (c) Jo Whaley

On Friday 7th December there will be a study visit to Lacock Abbey, the museum, current exhibition The Theatre of Insects by Jo Whaley, followed by a seminar in the afternoon.
Lacock Abbey was the home of William Henry Fox Talbot, and was where he developed the Calotype contact-printing process in the 1830s, which is essentially the positive-negative analogue process we are all familiar with today.
The Abbey, which is situated in the – almost theme-park perfect – village of Lacock, has a modest permanent exhibition devoted to Fox Talbot and his contribution to photography, which we will have a look at. Above this, is an exhibition space which often hosts work by practitioners who work with experimental and ‘alternative’ processes. Jo Whaley, creates works using appropriated (found) pictures that are then re-photographed with insects to striking effect. For a much richer exploration of her methods and motivations, see the essay on her website.
After viewing the exhibition, and lunch (students must make own arrangements) we will have a seminar, where students are invited to show some work in progress for peer and tutor review. Although perhaps a daunting prospect, previously, students have found this an invaluable opportunity to get some ‘live’ feedback on their work, as well as discuss other aspects of their studies. More information on what to bring to the seminar will be provided nearer the time.
Although this will primarily be of interest to those on Photography modules, students from other disciplines are very much welcomed.
To secure your place, please e-mail

Posted by author: Jesse
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2 thoughts on “Study Visit to Lacock Abbey in Wiltshire and Seminar

  • Initially, I was reminded of what some describe as the first photographic book, Anna Atkins’s “Photographs of British Algae” which consisted of cyanotypes but the American spelling of theatre (as Theater) destroyed this illusion while the much darker blue of the background of the exhibition announcement further alienated me from a fond memory.
    One can see the images online
    This is an odd kind of nature photography, one in which truth (the actual look of a species) plays a diminuitive part. Should make for an interesting study visit!!

  • I visited this exhibition on Monday – quite by chance, as I was going to Lacock and hadn’t realised the exhibition was on. They are stunningly beautiful images – very clever, inspirational, and in some instances quite haunting. I bought the book that goes with the series from the Abbey bookshop – it contains far more images than in the exhibition and is well worth the £15 asking price.

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