jim naughten | animal kingdom

Atlantic White Spotted Octopus (2014) 95 × 74 cm; Hanemule Photorag

Atlantic White Spotted Octopus (2014)
95 × 74 cm; Hanemule Photorag

Jim Naughten cultivated a fascination for history and nature from a very young age, and has combined his passion and work in his most recent project, that covers the boundary between photography and physical experience. With his book and exhibition titled Animal Kingdom, Naughten conveys new meanings to photographed objects, and has curated a rich collection of work exploring Victorian and Edwardian Natural History specimens frozen in time.

Jim Naughten was awarded a painting scholarship to study at Lancing College, and later studied photography at the Arts Institute of Bournemouth. His first project, called Re-enactors, illustrated the international group of people that gather every year to reproduce characters from the First and Second World Wars. His later project, Herero, portrayed German colonisation in Africa. 

Domestic Rabbit (2014) 95 × 74 cm; Hanemule Photorag

Domestic Rabbit (2014)
95 × 74 cm; Hanemule Photorag

In his most recent project, Animal Kingdom, Naughten has used yet another level of technological challenges and historical meaning. After a year of gathering objects from various museums, he incorporated a captivating three dimensional effect using stereoscopy to produce another level of experience of the mind, rather than the physical paper form of photography. Even though all the photographs are individual products, they all create a collective comparative study and are all presented as two pictures side to side in order for the interaction with the photograph to take place, via the utility of stereoscopy. Stereoscopy was the first 3D form tool ever invented in the 1830s. This binocular vision lets your eyes see slightly different images, which are then fused as a three-dimensional vision to the brain.

Horniman exhibition

Horniman exhibition

Curlew (2014) 95 × 74 cm; Hanemule Photorag

Curlew (2014)
95 × 74 cm; Hanemule Photorag

Being more than just historical items, these objects are a collection of frozen in time specimens kept intact over the years. As you can see with his works; The Atlantic White spot Octopus, his eight sucker-bearing arms seems very life-like; or The Domestic Rabbit with its small white haired head; and the Curlew skeleton bird almost seeming to run away from the frame. This project didn’t only enable the artist to connect history with his current work, but also to reorganise typology in his own system, as well as using an historical tool.

Therefore much more than two dimensional images, Jim Naughten’s Animal Kingdom analyses the technology of stereoscopy on historical objects, previously frozen for scientific experiments and creates a transformative connection on the audience and the subject. 

Transparent Chameleon (2014) 95 × 74 cm; Hanemule Photorag

Transparent Chameleon (2014)
95 × 74 cm; Hanemule Photorag

Animal Kingdom is published by Prestel.

Naughten’s work is on show AIPAD, Klompching Gallery and KK Outlet



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