Emma Hamilton's Attitudes Renewed

at  The Queen's House, Royal Museum’s Greenwich

A live performance by Akeriah in collaboration with myself, University of Greenwich drama lecturer, Jillian Wallis,  and her Theatre BA students. The piece was commissioned by The National Maritime Museum as part of the programme of events coinciding with the exhibition Yinka Shonibare MBE at Greenwich, performed over two days in February 2014, involved the cast enacting an interpretation of Emma Hamilton's life in the galleries provided by The Queen's House. Besides these photographs, my contribution was a video that I shot and edited that was projected behind the performers onto large pieces of muslin, maniuplated by the performers during the performance. The effect was that of a floating projection, distorted by the flowing pieces of fabric, which contributed to the atmosphere and narrative of the piece.

 

With the exception of the colour cast photograph, I decided quite early on that I wanted the individual cast photographs to have a classically black & white, fairytale feeling, with very shallow depth of field. Most of Anna Kompaniet's costumes and make-up are full of vibrance and saturation, but with this piece, we all decided quite early on to try for a more toned down look. for each image, I also wanted to convey a sense of each character and made an effort to scout different locations in and around the museum which could work well with their individual identities. Each photograph was taken between performances, so we typically only had five to ten minutes to get the picture. To get the shallow depth of field, and to separate and bring the character forward, most of the images use quite a dense neutral density filter for the shallow depth of field and an off camera strobe to darken the background and isolate the character.

Emma Hamilton: Jourdan Powell

Courtesy: The Queen’s House

 

Emma Hamilton: Jourdan Powell

Emma Hamilton: Jourdan Powell

Courtesy: The Queen’s House

 

Young Emma Hamilton: Ruby Brown

Courtesy: The Queen’s House

Young Emma Hamilton: Ruby Brown

Courtesy: The Queen’s House

George Romney and Charles Greville: James Walsom

Courtesy: The Queen’s House

William Hamilton: Rhys Pridmore

Courtesy: The Queen’s House

Queen Maria Carolina: Amy Bentley

Courtesy: The Queen’s House

Lady X: Chantelle Walker

Courtesy: The Queen’s House

Emma's Mother: Jackie Collins

Courtesy: The Queen’s House

The Cast

Courtesy: The Queen’s House

copyright 2020 Jason Wen