Sir John Soane

In summer 2000 I was granted permission to photograph in Sir John Soane’s Museum at 13 Lincoln’s Inn Fields in London. One year later I began the project by researching Soane’s intentions.

Memory plays an essential role In the Sir John Soane’s Museum. On the one hand Soane (1753-1837) activates the visitor's visual memory through his spatial arrangements; by the way he choreographs movement through the museum, along with how and where he places each object - on the other hand it is his testimonial to the dead, in the crypt memorials abound. Nothing is left to coincidence. In his description of the museum Soane often refers to the way craft copies nature, which he illustrates by displaying natural forms together with architectural fragments. One experiences the relationships by moving through each of the museum's rooms.

Soane's concerns in relation to the thoughts of memory, collecting and space are concepts that have been significant to my work throughout the years. In addition to responding to Soane's use of light, shadow, and reflection, it was the fact that Soane had created a three-dimensional visual experience - a Gesamtkunstwerk that engages the visitor in space and time - that challenged me to condense it onto film, to create still, two-dimensional images.

Sir John Soane’s