Tate Exchange Workshop: looking back

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It’s been a couple of weeks since the Tate Exchange workshop now. I’m happy to say that it well and I had such a great week; I was truly excited to see my photos on the wall of the Tate! (I can now tag myself ‘as seen at the Tate’ 🙂 .)

The Tate Exchange space is on the first floor of the building within one of the main galleries, right inside the main doorway:

The doors leading into the room where we had the exchange. There's a blackboard outside the door with the text 'The Book of the Dead: Passport Through the Underworld. This week in Tate Exchange'.
The Exchange space sits right at the front of one of the main galleries


As well as my pictures, there was a TV showing a video created by comic book artist Leigh Gallagher, showing his design and illustration process of Ammit the Devourer for one of the graphic novels he worked on (Ammit was an Egyptian mythological beast – part crocodile, part lion, part hippo – who sat beside the scales of judgement, ready to devour those whose hearts weighed heavier than the feather of truth … nom!).

There were also tables with paper, pencils, books and spells from the Book of the Dead to help visitors create their own afterlife spells, which were then pinned up on the wall next to my photos.

The exchange area with my photos on the wall. There are tables with students sitting around them, drawing.
The main exchange space


A girl and her father sitting at a table, drawing with colouring pencils.
Drawing spells from the Book of the Dead


A girl sitting at a table, drawing. In the background is an elderly man reading a book.

The wall covered in the drawings done by visitors to the workshop.
The wall on the final day, covered in visitors’ spell creations


Workshops and talks

During the week, Dr Roland Enmarch and I put on a couple of additional events. Roland talked about the Book of the Dead and the Egyptian iconography of the afterlife, and relating it to pieces being shown in the Surrealism in Egypt exhibition also on at the Tate.

A group of people sitting and listening to a talk about the Egyptian Book of the Dead.
Roland talking about the Egyptian afterlife, with examples of where the iconography can be seen in the Surrealism in Egypt exhibition


I did two workshops in which I talked about both the photography I’d done – including techniques I use such as focus stacking and repairing damaged papyri in Photoshop – and how to handle your camera better in low light situations (an expansion of the blog post I published earlier this year).

Me at the exchange doing a workshop with visitors. We're sitting at a table talking about photography.
Talking about photography


We finished the workshops off with a practical session, photographing some Egyptian artefacts brought down from the Garstang.

The base of the funerary cone, with hieroglyphs inscribed on it.
An Egyptian funerary cone, photographed by workshop attendee Jeremy Ashcroft, used with permission (© Jeremy Ashcroft)


I really enjoyed the workshops; it was a step forward for me as not only was it the first time I’d done this workshop, it was the first time I’d hosted any kind of workshop. I had some really positive feedback from those who attended, which is great news for me, as I’ll be expanding the workshop to offer on an ongoing basis in the new year (watch this space!).

All-in-all, I had an amazing week. The only real let down was the noticeable lack of promotion from both the Tate and the University of Liverpool. Both the Garstang Museum and I put a lot out on social media, but the Tate didn’t put anything out themselves, choosing to just retweet a few tweets from other people instead. There was nothing on their Instagram account until the penultimate day. The official accounts for the university were disappointingly quiet on the whole thing. The feedback from visitors was really fantastic, though. With better publicity, it could’ve been a huge week for us all.

But, I don’t want to finish on a downer; it was just fantastic to see my photos up on the wall of the Tate Liverpool, and the staff and volunteers at the Garstang and the Egyptology department at the university put in a lot of hard work and made my photos look amazing (again!). For that, and for putting me in the situation where I can now say I’ve been exhibited at the Tate, I’m eternally grateful.

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One Response

  1. […] was a great way to finish off the year. We had the Exchange workshop for a week at the Tate Liverpool, which included ten of my images. It really was so exciting to see my photos on the wall of the […]

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