Current Exhibition

Collected Shadows: The Archive of Modern Conflict

Collected Shadows: The Archive of Modern Conflict
3 Feb 2018 - 8 Apr 2018
Slide show: 
Edward Curtis, A Cowichan mask, 1912.
Maxwell R. Hayes, Duk-Duk Members, 1964. © Maxwell R. Hayes
Unknown Photographer (British), Solar eclipse, Astronomer Royal's expedition, Gi
F. Pollard, Hailstones, natural size, 26 Dec 1897. Courtesy Archive of Modern Co
Bertha Jacques, Plant study, c1910. Courtesy Archive of Modern Conflict, London


This exhibition of 200 photographs is drawn from the extensive collection of the Archive of Modern Conflict. The AMC was first established 25 years ago as a repository for vernacular photography and ephemera relating to the First and Second World Wars. It has since grown to a total of eight million images encompassing a plethora of subject matter – not solely defined by war and conflict – collected from diverse sources all over the world. 

Curated by AMC Director, Timonthy Prus, Collected Shadows offers a glimpse into these extraordinary holdings. This eclectic display includes scientific, astronomical and botanical studies, studio sittings, portraits and private snapshots, press photographs, film stills and aerial photographs from several wars, as well as a rich and unpredictable array of works we simply have to call art.

Spanning the history of the photographic medium from the mid-1850s to the present day, the exhibition represents a great variety of techniques, from early albumen and hand-tinted silver gelatin prints to the distinctive blue of the cyanotype. The salon-style hang establishes connections between disparate worlds, and encourages viewers to find their own meanings. Through enigmatic groupings that cross time-periods and geographics, certain themes emerge – specifically earth, air, fire and water – creating associations between the elements, the cosmos and humanity. 

A Hayward Gallery Touring exhibition from Southbank Centre, London, organised in collaboration with The Archive of Modern Conflict, London.


Hayward Gallery Touring Logo   Arts Council England Lottery Funded logo



3 Feb 2018 - 28 Feb 2018

Hidden is a collection of photographic work created by individuals who have caring responsibilities.

The work demonstrates the uniqueness of photography, its ubiquitous nature offering the time-starved an opportunity to create and be included.

A treasured family photograph triggers memories and begins discussion around those we care for. An everyday object is highlighted by studio lights, elevating its status to more accurately demonstrate its vital role in the successful play of a day. A pinhole camera makes use of household waste – an old matchbox, a postal tube – with long exposure times allowing for multitasking. A still-life is created from found objects in situ, stumbled across when carrying out daily responsibilities. An unpaired glove becomes the starting point of photographic narrative, real or imagined it’s an alternative to reality. Photography lets us to see ourselves in a reflection, allowing the subject to play with how they are seen in the world.

The work presented is not about what it is like to be a carer. It will not communicate that 1 in 8 adults are carers. It will not inform you that carers save the economy £132 billion per year and it won’t betray the gendered stereotypes of caring roles. Instead it is work made by carers, who have gained skills and used photography to creatively explore their often-isolated voice.

Hidden came out of the House|Work project, a partnership project between Stills Centre for Photography and Edinburgh Art Festival exploring themes of gendered perception within caring roles and the undervaluing of unpaid care. Through a programme of creative activity, in response to an exhibition at Stills by artist Kate Davis, community groups in Edinburgh created work in a series of workshops that have been showcased in an exhibition raising awareness of these themes.




This project was generously supported by Spirit of 2012 and the Fawcett Society.