Throughout my studies, I have been able to explore numerous different pathways that have allowed me to dip my feet into various interests. Having previously earned a bachelor’s degree in photography, my passion lies within using photography as an object to investigate the history of its material culture. This is reflected in my dissertation, Bessie Bonehill: Victorian Male Impersonation, where I combined my interest in performance with photography by conducting a case study into celebrity crossdresser, Bessie Bonehill. Primarily utilising carte-de-visites and cabinet cards in conjunction with music sheets, costumes, and posters to analyse portrayals of gender. Analyses of gender has been a key component of much of my work, formerly also conducting research into Surrealist photographers’ depiction of the female body. Influenced by my own experiences, I often consider effects or perspectives of women in whatever I am studying.
As I continuously work with collection objects, I find my enthusiasm to be eclectic. For example, my essay on an eighteenth-century gold snuffbox drew me into an unexplored area of interest by examining the social rules of tobacco and how these accessories were disseminated.
As a member of the National Portrait Gallery and Leighton and Sambourne House volunteers, I thrive in museum and heritage sites where I hope to grow the foundations of my career. This has expanded throughout my time at RCA by working closely with the Victoria and Albert Museum curators and collections.
Image: Gold Snuffbox, Paul Barbot and George Michael Moser, 1774 (Victoria and Albert Museum).