Hannah MaynardWhat can you learn about BC from a pioneering photographer?

Hannah Maynard was an early expert in experimental photography. In the mid-1800s, she started capturing portraits of Victoria’s early settlers and Indigenous communities. She ran a thriving photography studio and was recognized across the country for her creativity and her unique photographic style. But, as a woman in charge of her own business, she faced criticism. This did not stop Maynard from excelling in the world of this new art form and she quickly gained respect as a talented photographer.

One of her techniques involved cutting out and pasting together hundreds of portraits of children by hand. She would send out the montages as part of her renowned Gems of British Columbia. She was also well known for her quirky self-portraits. With explorations of multiple exposures and photo sculpting, she experimented with surrealism years before its time. Without access to tools like digital cameras and Photoshop, creating took time; the methods behind some of her creations remain a mystery to this day. Hannah Maynard did not shy away from exploring ideas of life and death in her art and expressed her own struggles with grief.

How can Hannah Maynard inspire your photography?