Update from the Garstang: a Tate Workshop and a new video

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It’s been a busy time of late.

Firstly, I wanted to share some exciting news with you. The Garstang has put in a successful bid for a week-long workshop at the Tate Liverpool (eek!). The workshop is based around the Book of the Dead exhibition, but will be art-focused, without the artefacts. It’ll feature my photography and the art of Leigh Gallagher, a comic-book artist. It’s running from 4–10 December, and I’ll be doing a photography workshop or two for it (details to come). Roland Enmarch will also be doing a couple of talks on the Book of the Dead and Egyptian funerary beliefs, and Leigh, I believe, will be doing some workshops as well.… Read More

Update from the Garstang: Predynastic pots and the Festival of Archaeology

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My last session at the Garstang was another busy one. As well as getting on with more artefact photography, the museum was hosting a talk by Roland Enmarch on the Book of the Dead as part of the UK’s annual Festival of Archaeology.… Read More

Update from the Garstang: tiny amulets and a famous Egyptologist

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Having had a bit of a break from photographing artefacts while the Book of the Dead exhibition was being put together, I started back at the Garstang a couple of weeks ago.

Whilst having a bit of an explore of the storerooms, I happened upon some boxes of amulets; I knew immediately these tiny little objects could be great fun to photograph.… Read More

Light Night opening of the Book of the Dead exhibition

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After numerous hours in the photographic suite, many more vying with Photoshop, followed by several weeks of nail biting, hoping my photos would make the grade, finally, we got there. The Book of the Dead exhibition opened at the Garstang on 19 May 2017 as part of Liverpool Light Night.… Read More

Repairing papyri in Photoshop

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Repairing papyri that have sustained damage over the millennia using Photoshop is something I want to spend some time doing on this project. Whilst employing a conservationist to take the papyri out of their glass containers and reassemble them is a costly and time-consuming affair, using Photoshop to digitally reassemble pieces is much less so (and more fun for me, too).

The process of repairing papyri
So, what is it I’m doing when I’m repairing papyri? The purpose is to pull together and realign broken sections. The example I’m using here is from a copy of the Amduat from the Garstang Museum. The Amduat was a funerary text whose contents showed the nighttime journey of the sun-god through the underworld. This particular copy belonged to a lady called Tjaty from the 21st Dynasty of ancient Egypt (1077–943 BC).… Read More

At the Garstang: first session photographing the Book of the Dead

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Last week, I had my first proper session in the photographic suite. I spent the day in near darkness, photographing a couple of pages from the Book of the Dead.

But why were you in near darkness?, I hear you cry. Because of my arch-nemesis: reflections.

The papyri are encased in sheets of glass, which were cleaned beautifully by some of the museum interns before I photographed them. However, the now extra-clean glass was was extra shiny, and therefore extra reflective. Although the walls and ceiling in the suite are painted black, even low amounts of light were reflecting off the light fittings in the ceiling back down onto the glass.… Read More

At the Garstang: setting up photographic equipment and taking some test shots

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I had my first session at the Garstang on Wednesday. It wasn’t a proper session, per se, but one for reviewing logistics and taking a few test shots. My first project with the museum is to photograph some papyri for Gina, so I wanted to test out my photographic equipment on them. I also got to go down to the photographic suite and see how the equipment there could compliment/enhance what I already have.… Read More

Photographing Egyptology at the Garstang Museum

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The Garstang Museum of Archaeology is the departmental museum for the School of Archaeology, Classics and Egyptology at the University of Liverpool. The university’s where I studied Egyptology, so it’s a place close to my heart.

I’m so excited to share with you that I’m going to be getting my hands dirty at the Garstang with some photographic projects. The curator, Dr Gina Criscenzo Laycock, and I studied for our Masters together, so it’s been really great to catch up with an old friend and get the opportunity to start this project.… Read More

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