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Ferns by Anna Atkins
CREDIT: Anna Atkins, R. K. Mellon Family Foundation, National Gallery of Art Washington DC

Leaders in their field - Anna Atkins

Connections across Society

I have been looking through the recently revised International section on the website. I get copies of a number of newsletters from our Chapters and this week I was drawn by the content of the Benelux Autumn eJournal. I would recommend taking a look at the content.

My eye is always drawn to monochrome photography and there was lots on view here. And the use of photography in documentary work too. But it was the cyanotype images of Anna Atkins that really drew my eye in this edition.

Last year I had the opportunity to examine one of her images in the Eye of the Sun exhibition at the National Gallery of Art in Washington DC. The work has a delicate beauty and is all the more marvellous in that it dates from the 1840s. It is also credited as being the starting point for the use of photography to illustrate the printed word, a connection in photography with my work. And of course the start of the Photobook journey.

What also struck me was the importance of connections in this work. Atkins was friends with Sir John Herschel, inventor of the cyanotype process, and also I believe with Fox Talbot. Another example for me of where local and indeed international connections informs our work.