Change in Form: Metamorphosis in the Ashmolean Museum
The Ashmolean presents the online exhibition of photographs taken by James Hudson, photographer in residence at the Museum from 2010 – 2011
The series of 16 black & white photographs have been inspired by Ovid's stories of metamorphosis.
Visitors to the museum mimicked exhibits and statues, portraits looked down at them and everybody seemed involved in a piece of unconscious theatre. Boundaries between people and objects started to blur. Glass cabinets started to contain visitors, and everything in the museum became an object. Even my box of photographs of them started to resemble its own cabinet of curiosities.
I then remembered reading about statues coming alive and people being turned into animals and objects in Ovid's stories of Metamorphosis. In one story Daphne becomes a tree and in another story Pyrrha and Deucalion create a new race of men from stones thrown on the ground. These changes in form, and the frustration caused by an inability to speak, happen over and over again in the stories and they suited perfectly what I was seeing in the museum.
James Hudson, 2012