As a result of a research project taking place over the last 7 years, HE Photography lecturer Jamie Dormer-Durling is raising money to help publish his book: ‘Dragons & Snakestones’.
The upcoming title is a is a photobook celebrating the life and work of the fossil hunter and palaeontologist Mary Anning.
“In the spring of 2014, whilst walking on the beach at Lyme Regis, I struck up a conversation with a group of people who appeared to be looking for something amongst the debris of a recent rockfall. They told me they were on a fossil walk, searching for ammonites, belemnites and pieces of the creatures of the distant past, following in the footsteps of a local heroine.
“Born to a poor family in 1799, Anning’s discoveries and insights contributed to the identification and classification of a wide range of prehistoric life and changed scientific understanding of the history of the Earth. As a woman, she was denied fellowship of the scientific communities of the day and her work was often credited to the men that dominated the field.”
For the past seven years Jamie has been taking photographs of the fossils Anning found which are housed in museums across the UK. The resulting photographs reveal traces left behind as she worked to remove them from the rocks and cleaned and prepared them for sale. These marks allude to her labour in the harsh landscape of Lyme Regis and her endurance in the face of criticism and exploitation by the scientific establishment…
His publication aims to tell her story, celebrate her moments of discovery, and reveal her continued struggle for recognition.
There is a film about her being released this week starring Kate Winslet. You can see the trailer for it here.
If you’d like to support Jamie with his journey, click here to read more and donate via his crowdfunding page