Woodhouse project

The William John Woodhouse Rephotography Project (WJWRP)

The William John Woodhouse Rephotography Project  (WJWRP)  is the product of four years of research undertaken for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Visual Arts through Sydney College of the Arts, The University of Sydney. This project was made possible through collaboration with the Nicholson Museum, University of Sydney, where the William John Woodhouse Photographic archive is held. Conroy undertook the field work for the rephotography project in mainland Greece from December 2009 to September 2010.

William John Woodhouse 1866-1937 was a classicist, ancient historian, and archaeologist. Between 1889-1936, on numerous trips to Greece, Woodhouse took approximately 1350 large format glass plate negatives depicting sites in mainland Greece. The majority of the plates that survived appear to have been taking during Woodhouse's fellowship in Athens in 1890-92 and in 1893-94 as the Oxford University Craven Fellow.  The aim of the WJWRP was to relocate and accurately rephotograph a selection of photographs from the Woodhouse Archive. This involved the reidentification of the subjects depicted in the original photographs, as no captions have survived. Conroy chose to shoot in colour and to include more of the context surrounding subject. White crop marks on the rephotographed images denote the extent of the orginal frame of the Woodhouse image. 

The first exhibition of work from this series was held in August 2011 at Barometer Gallery, Sydney, as part of the PhD examination process. The exhibition presented a series of large digital prints and 168 plates in seven folios according to region; Attica Volumes 1-4, Aetolia, Peloponnesos, Delphi.

The new photographs by Conroy and the old by Woodhouse are displayed side by side, inviting the viewer to compare the changes and continuity of the objects in built landscape and environment. (See installation shots)

A  paper on the project delivered at the 2011 Critical Thinking: Research + Art + Culture conference can be found here

WJWRP Folios  by region: