Banknote campaign gathers pace

17 June 2015

Industry news

The campaign to support Julia Margaret Cameron as the face of the new £20 bank note is gathering pace as poets, professors, artists and politicians united by marching through Freshwater on 11 June, the bicentenary of her birth. Cameron, a former RPS member, is widely revered as one of the world's greatest photographers and will be the subject of two major London exhibitions later this year.

The marchers left Mrs Middleton’s shop in Avenue Road stopping at significant locations along the way, including Tennyson’s hidden gate. The spectacle was suitably eccentric with top hats, flag waving, much singing, and general merriment. The event finished with a restorative cuppa and slice of cake at Dimbola Lodge, Julia’s former home (from 1860-1875) and where she took her greatest photographs.

Gail Middleton, Dimbola trustee and author commented: 'Julia was such a great photographer and artist. Her style was unique, visionary and instrumental in shaping photography into an art form. We wanted to celebrate this extraordinary woman’s birthday and encourage people to nominate Julia for the new £20 banknote'. Other marchers included Dr Brian Hinton OBE, whose efforts saved Dimbola from demolition in the 1990s.

It was also revealed that a Cameron photograph is already on a banknote. The portrait of Charles Darwin which features on the £10 note is taken from an original photographed by Cameron. Darwin commented: 'I like this photograph better than any other which has been taken of me.' 

This revelation prompted the Island’s MP, Andrew Turner, to say " I am thoroughly behind this campaign and the news that her work has already been used by the Bank of England on the £10 note only lends weight to her already worthy nomination as one of Britain's greatest visual artists."

The campaign has already garnered several celebrity endorsements including the author Lynne Truss, “Everyone knows the photographs, but it’s time for this remarkable photographer to come out from behind the lens.”

Public nominations can be made on the Bank of England’s website until the 19 July. A panel of experts will produce a shortlist before Mark Carney, Governor of the Bank of England, makes the final decision. Click here to make your own nomination. 

The RPS is campaigning for a photographer to become the subject of the new £20 banknote.