Jo Gane: Photographic Artist & Educator

A White House on Paradise Street

A collaborative exhibition by Jo Gane, Pete James and Leon Trimble to launch in May 2017

This exhibition is inspired by the absence of what has been claimed by some writers to be the first photographic image made in Birmingham. Some of these same authors have also suggested that this was potentially the first daguerreotype made in England.

Using apparatus imported from France, the image - said to depict a White House on Paradise Street - is thought to have been made by George Shaw in late August or early September 1839. Shaw’s role as a patent agent, professor of chemistry and his position within scientific and commercial circles in and beyond Birmingham have led some to speculate that he was able to access privileged early information about Daguerre’s invention and to use this to make this important yet enigmatic image.

In response to research by Pete James and working in collaboration with BOM Fellow, Leon Trimble, Jo Gane is making new work that combines historic and contemporary techniques and extends the latent possibilities of this missing image.

The exhibition places small Time Machines around the city in locations relevant to key moments and events in the early history of photography in Birmingham. These Time Machine devices resemble the historic Wolcott daguerreotype camera yet are powered by Raspberry Pi’s and have the capability to live stream images that are not fixed photographically from within the camera. They mine the contemporary landscape to make visible the history of the city’s role as the midwife to the birth of photography in the early 19th Century.

Alongside the live stream of indistinct, soft images from within the camera devices, which are reminiscent of even earlier attempts to produce photographic images a series of sharp, detailed new Daguerreotypes on show in the gallery render fragments of what may have been visible on Shaw’s original Daguerreotype plate into focus within this new digital landscape inspired by fragments of the past.

This project will be presented as part of a series of collaborative and companion exhibitions and projects brought together by BOM that explores the early history of photography, including ‘Thresholds’ by Mat Collishaw which will be shown simultaneously at Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery.

This exhibition has been made possible by funding from Arts Council England's Grants for the Arts

Time Machines exhibition opens at Mead Gallery, Warwick Arts Centre

I've curated a room titled 'Time Machines' about cameras and the history of photographic processes for Warwick Arts Centre's latest exhibition at Mead Gallery '1/125 of a Second' by Dublin based artist, Gerard Byrne which runs from 16th January - 12th March 2016. 

The exhibition area takes inspiration from Gerard Byrne’s interest in the mechanisms behind imagery and how these evolve with our thinking over time. It aims to shed light on how photographic processes have developed from the Camera Obscura to the present day, along with where Photography may be headed in the future.

It includes several activities that visitors can get involved with, from making a fake daguerreotype to producing a collage using materials inspired by the exhibition to be displayed in the space or taken home. The room also contains a mini camera obscura cupboard that can be used as a drawing device, with your drawing then being hung in the space as part of an interactive diagram, produced by Birmingham Camera Obscura.

Also outside there is a shed that has been converted to function as a camera obscura which will be open on sunny days so that you can experience standing inside a camera and view the upside down projections created simply by the action of light.

I'll be running some workshops at the Mead in Pinhole photography during February half term, along with the fantastic team from Birmingham Camera Obscura, Pete Ashton and Jenny Duffin. Dates are as follows;

  • Tuesday 16th February, 12-5pm: Camera Obscura drop in sessions
  • Wednesday 17th February 1-3pm: Family Pinhole Photography workshop - booking required
  • Saturday 20th February 1-3pm: Advanced Pinhole Photography workshop - booking required.

For more details and to book, please follow the link to the gallery website here.

Open Daguerreotype talk and partial demo

I'll be talking about the progress on my project to make some Daguerreotypes, pitfalls of the process and demonstrating what I'm up to with working with this tricky but fascinating process at.

BOM (Birmingham Open Media),

1 Dudley St,

B5 4EG

On Wednesday 30th September 2015 between 11.30 am - 1.30 pm.



The JHB Archive 23/1961 or 28/1961 opens at BOM

Private View: 10th September 2015

Exhibition Runs 11th September - 3rd October 2015

Open Tues - Sat 10.30 - 5pm

23/1961 or 28/1961 is an exhibition inspired by the possibilities of a missing sculpture made by Julian Henry Beck (1914-2012) a Midlands based artist, engineer and photographer. The sculpture was purchased by Nuneaton Museum in the 1960s and accessioned into their permanent collection but has since disappeared, leaving behind only a truncated record of its description and location.

The artists included in the exhibition were selected from an open call that invited responses to make new works based around the data available about the sculpture.

Associated Events:

Curators talk / tour - Wednesday 16th September


Open Submission Selected Artists for BOM Exhibition

I'm pleased to announce that I'll be working with the following artists as part of the JHB Archive 23/1961 or 28/1961 exhibition at BOM in September.

Alison Carlier
Briony Clarke
Christoph Bangert
David Penny
Dorothea Nold
Giada Totaro
Jacqueline Butler
Jane Ball
Jane Hoodless
Janet Farahar
Karl Bielik
Kate V Robertson
Katherine di Turi
Michael Lightbourne
Pete Ashton
Sayako Sugawara
Steve Carrick
Tete de Alencar
Tom Milnes
Wiebke Leister

The artists have been selected by a panel consisting of Caitlin Griffiths, Myself and Karen Newman from an open submission opportunity funded by Arts Council England's Grants for the Arts.

The selected artists work in a diverse range of media and all artists presented a high quality and original proposal which responds to the brief of a sculpture belonging to JHB that was lost by Nuneaton Museum and now exists only as the data stored on the accession record, until September when the sculpture will be reimagined in 20 new forms.

The exhibition opens with a preview at BOM (Birmingham Open Media), 1 Dudley Street, Birmingham on 10th September from 6-8pm then runs from 11th September – 3rd October 2015.