Dragons & Snakestones // PRE-ORDER
21cmx26cm, 114 pages, hardback photo book.
Going to print early June 2021, Estimated delivery late June 2021
Dragons & Snakestones is the culmination of 7 years of research and practice looking at the life and work of the 19th century fossil hunter and palaeontologist Mary Anning of Lyme Regis.
Born in 1799, her discoveries and insights contributed to the identification and classification of a wide range of prehistoric life and changed scientific understanding of the history of the Earth. As a woman born to a poor family, she was denied fellowship of the scientific communities of the day and her work was often credited to the men that dominated the field.
Whilst figuring out how to photograph her original specimens I looked closely for areas that I felt would have interested her, details she would have noticed as she sat for days and hours, her trained eyes scanning their moonlike surfaces as she cleaned and prepared them for sale.
Later, as I sat in the lab cleaning the dust from the negatives, I felt a connection to her, an encounter in a visual space we had both occupied. I began looking for traces she left in this space, on the fossils I saw scratchings from her pick, on her correspondence and notebooks I looked to the movement of her pen on the surface of the paper; evidence of her thinking, intimate physical marks left behind by a remarkable woman.
In this photo book I have collected together some of the photographs I made of the fossils she found and the landscape she explored. These have been brought together with excerpts from letters to her friends and correspondence with the dealers and powerful men of the scientific establishment of the 19th century.