Welcome to 2021! The last twelve months have been a strange and difficult time for us all, but it was a great delight to see publication of my biography, Anton Walbrook: a life of masks and mirrors, on 14 December last year. Work on the biography has been ongoing for almost a decade and although it feels a little strange that this has now come to an end, it is wonderful to see copies out there at last.
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 devoted much time and effort during 2019 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. What 2021 will bring is still unclear, but I have been invited to speak or write about Anton Walbrook across different platforms and publications, and may have exciting news to share soon about a related project.
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. 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.