The ManchesterMuseum’s Entomology Department welcomes a wide array of visitors, from scientists coming to study our extensive insect collections to designers and artists exploring the diversity of shapes, colours or patterns of the many thousands of creepy-crawlies deposited here. Katie Peach, a photography student from Stockport College, undertook the photography project called ‘In Absentia’ at the museum. Here is Katie’s brief report and a few images taken from the Entomology Department.
“This photographic project is about the Manchester Museum; the images I have produced reflect the time I spent behind the scenes of this institution, meeting and photographing the people that work there. Initially I photographed members of staff at the museum, after reviewing the portraits, I established that this direct method of portraiture was not illustrating how I wanted to represent them and the museum. I then photographed a variety of working environments in the museum photographed as if there is a person present. My objective is for the images to function as portraits, although the human form is not included.
The museum displays, preserves and stores many treasured objects, this permanent archive highlights the transience of the staff that oversee the collection, who are mere custodians of this material environment. These ‘portraits’, which have been made in both personal and communal areas, illustrate the future absence of those currently occupying the chairs, which will one day be filled by new personnel”.
The exhibition in which Katie’s images will be displayed will be taking place at the Chinese Art Centre in Manchester, 16th – 19th June, 2011.