Welcome to 2020! Without a doubt the most exciting thing on the horizon is the completion of my biography, Anton Walbrook: a life of masks and mirrors, which should be published by Peter Lang later in the year. The book has now gone into production, page proofs are due in September and it should be out in the autumn. Work on the biography has been ongoing for almost a decade and it will feel strange when it comes to an end.

The last year has been especially busy with writing projects being pursued alongside full-time work as Archivist of the Middle East Collections at Exeter University, as well as editing the journal Photographica World. 

My two previous books, A Carnal Medium: fin-de-siecle essays on the photographic nude (Portsmouth: Callum James, 2012) and Joseph Pike: the happy Catholic artist (Matador, 2017) are still available, and I have devoted much time and effort to trying to promote these on social media and other outlets.  I did two radio interviews, with David Fitzgerald on BBC Radio Devon and Lucy Tegg on BBC Radio Bristol & Somerset, during which I was able to discuss Joseph Pike’s life and work live on air. Other articles have appeared in Picture Postcard Monthly, and I currently have further journal articles in the pipeline. Three conference talks were lined up for 2020, but unfortunately two of these had to be cancelled due to the covid-19 pandemic. It’s been a difficult year for many of us working in the creative industries, with the future of many plans and projects remaining uncertain.

These commitments and other creative projects have inevitably reduced the amount of free time available to devote to the website, but whenever the opportunity allows there will be regular blogposts covering the usual wide range of topics, most of which could fit under the umbrella term of ‘visual culture.’ After falling behind with my Carte-de-visite of the week series and the regular showcasing of artefacts from my collection of Anton Walbrook memorabilia, these are now picking up again. More details about the publication of A Life of Masks and Mirrors will be posted nearer the time, so watch this space!