The JHB Archive

Install at Roots Gallery, April 2013

The JHB Archive


In the summer of 2012, Gane purchased at auction the modernist former home of Julian Henry Beck (1914 – 2012), a Coventry based artist, photographer and engineer. In the process of moving in, she found she had inherited an archive of objects from his life.

In documenting these objects photographically and presenting a topographic archive of the everyday she presents a portrait of a man and hopes that some of his personality and life is visible within the collection. The presentation of the domestic, sometimes banal ordinary objects raises the question of what remains, as homes are redecorated and traces of a life disappear under the layers of paint in a house to become a part of its domestic archaeology.

The objects that once populated this domestic landscape become archaeological finds. The once sleek and optimistic mid century architecture and design has aged and faded into nostalgia, offering  clues to the lifestyle and aspirations of a generation. Objects that were designed with the future in mind now appear dated as the future they were designed for has become the past.

Objects: The Julian Henry Beck archive, 2013. Giclee print on Hahnemule paper. 12.7 x 17.8cm edition of 5

Domestic Archaeology (Red I,II and III): Lightjet print face mounted on perspex, reverse  on dibond .100 x 100cm edition of 3

Self portraits and other archive images, vintage silver gelatin prints by Julian Henry Beck